A new nursing home could be coming to Stafford County, and some officials feel the additional beds are needed.

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By ELLEN BILTZWith a Stafford County nursing home failing safety inspections and operating with financial losses, the county may need a new facility.

The Virginia Department of Health’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services found in March that Brooke Nursing Center was not in compliance with the state life-safety code.

A state fire marshal survey determined that the fire-suppression sprinkler system in the 34-bed nursing home on Andrew Chapel Road was outdated. The survey also found that smoke barriers such as walls, doors and windows were not in compliance and the cooking facilities were not properly protected.

The report said residents at Brooke could be in danger because of these hazards.

Max Pettibone, the owner of Brooke, filed a request to have until Aug. 1 to finish the repairs, which are estimated to cost more than $220,000. The department has not yet responded to the request.

The nursing home also faces financial woes. According to a Northwestern Virginia Health Systems Agency report, the home sustained operating losses of about $170,000 in 2003 and $242,000 in 2004.

Based on Stafford’s large and growing population, the county could support 200 nursing-home beds, said Erik Bodin, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Certificate of Public Need. Woodmont Center in southern Stafford has 120 beds.

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