Headquarters of Premier Health Care Management, the parent company named in a construction payment dispute

Since June of 2020, a construction project for a nursing home in the town of Amelia, Ohio has attracted six mechanics lien claims worth more than $1 million.

The new nursing home in Clermont county is under the development of Clermont Health Realty, LLC. The general contractor, PHCM Construction, LLC, filed a notice of commencement on March 28, 2019 to signal the official beginning of the construction project.

Along with another health care firm called JZB Realty Holdings, Clermont Health Realty was approved for property assessed clean energy (PACE) funding on the part of the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA). JZB was approved for $4.7 million from the OAQDA, while Clermont Health was approved for $7 million.

Clermont Health Realty’s funds were intended for an energy-efficient HVAC system, windows, lighting, insulation, and domestic hot water system.

However, even with the additional PACE financing, several contractors have purportedly been left unpaid on the construction project.

The project’s general contractor, PHCM Construction, is the development arm of Premier Health Care Management. The parent company’s CEO, Harold Sosna, is currently embroiled in a legal battle over fraud allegations relating to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for multiple companies. PHCM Construction reportedly applied for and received a loan worth between $150,000 – 350,000.

Contractors Owed Over $1 Million in Clermont County

Six contractors who worked on the project located at 100 Pond View Drive in Pierce Township, Amelia, Ohio have filed mechanics liens. The total amount claimed between each mechanics lien is $1,223,529.57. Each lien was filed with the Clermont County clerk’s office where the project is located.

Fayette Drywall, Inc. filed a mechanics lien on June 25th for materials and labor first furnished on January 28th, 2020. Fayette is owed a total of $668,669.

On the same date, Northern Plumbing Systems, LLC filed a claim for $54,135, having last provided labor and materials on June 19th, 2020.

Five days later, Alt and Witzig Engineering, Inc. filed a lien claim for $10,212.01 in unpaid labor or materials.

On July 9th, 2020, Irving Materials, Inc. filed a mechanics lien to recover an unpaid amount of $62,118.78 for materials provided on April 10th, 2020.

The last two mechanics liens filed on the project were recorded in August of 2020. The Cincinnati Air Conditioning Company (CAC) filed a lien for the hefty amount of $335,378. CAC first provided labor, materials, or work for the project on the date of June 11, 2020. Concord Fire Protection, Inc. is owed $93,016.78 for work, labor, or materials furnished on June 1st, 2020.

It is unclear when Amelia Care Center will open its doors. According to Clermont County Permit Central, the skilled-nursing-home-in-progress applied for its permit on January 1st, 2019 and received it on November 12th, 2019. The property, valued at $16,000,000, has a 113-bed capacity with a square footage of 108,952. Amelia Care Center is also predicted to create 55 to 60 full time jobs in the town.

Nursing Homes Face Financial Uncertainty During Pandemic

With more than 40% of total COVID-19 deaths in the US reportedly linked to nursing homes, the industry has been highly criticized for their pandemic response. In June, Congress launched an investigation into a number of nursing home chains over accusations of mismanaging federal relief funds.

With shrinking occupancy, nursing homes have seen cost increases in 2020 due to COVID-19 testing and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports that nursing homes have received more than $10 billion in federal funding since the beginning of the pandemic.

A 2019 investigation by the AJC found that, as investors rushed to capitalize on housing an aging population, an overbuilt senior housing market squeezed profits from the sector and ultimately reduced quality of care.