A new skilled nursing facility may be built in Union that could address both the need for services, and create local jobs.

Mayor Mike Livengood has signed a letter of support for Benchmark Healthcare which is seeking state approval to build the new facility.

The company is seeking a certificate of need through an application submitted to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee. The application will submitted this week.

The company plans to build the facility, a $6,500,000, 60-bed skilled nursing center, at the corner of Denmark Road and St. Andrews Drive.

City Administrator Russell Rost said Benchmark must prove the need for skilled nursing beds in Franklin County. He noted that there is a shortage of about 200 beds.

“There is a need and it creates job as well — this would be a 24-hour facility with 24-hour employment,” he said.

Rost noted that the population in the community is aging and the need for this type of facility is growing.

“The facilities here are full,” he added. “If there is to be more skilled nursing, they have to put in another facility.”

Because facilities are full, Rost explained, Union area residents who need service must leave the community.

“This also would allow people to get services locally and stay within the community,” he said.

Those staying at the facility also would be surrounded by their peers and friends, Rost said.

Benchmark Healthcare provides “affordable, high-value, skilled nursing services” to residents in rural markets.

The company was the recipient of Missouri’s first nursing home facility license almost 75 years ago.

Benchmark has 20 facilities located in Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The skilled service facilities are designed for seniors in need of significant full-time care, with assistance available 24 hours a day.