Tough choices ahead for retirement center in Lidgerwood

A new board, with five members joining in recent days, will work to create a business plan and ultimately choose between three options to keep the facility running.

Lidgerwood retirement center meeting.jpg
A meeting held at Dakota Estates Retirement Center in Lidgerwood Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Matt Henson / WDAY News
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LIDGERWOOD, N.D. — Despite plenty of questions still circulating around the future of the Dakota Estates Retirement Center in Lidgerwood, there is more optimism that the retirement home will be saved.

Originally slated to close at the end of December, Dakota Estates will stay open through March.

That will give time for the new board, which was greeted by nearly 100 people on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to decide between three options to keep the doors open.

Either the board continues to manage the facility, find a private buyer who will run the place, or a private buyer who allows the board to run the facility.

"(W)e need volunteers more than anything. We need help to keep it open and keep it running," said board member Carly Stenvold.


With barely enough money to pay the 17 staff members, volunteers have been running the place on a daily basis. The facility has on average a deficit of about $3,000 a month.

A big reason for the financial hole is how much residents pay each month, which is around $1,000 a month.

Other facilities in the area that offer fewer services charge between $4,500 and $8,500 per month.

"We are hanging on by a thread," Stenvold said.

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Adding to the center's financial woes, four of the 20 residents are leaving because of the previous closure announcement.

The board said the facility, which has 40 rooms, has been operating without a business plan, which they plan on writing to hopefully help receive more funding from the federal and state level.

"(T)he fundraising is always going to be a crucial part," said board member Janice Illies.

The board did promise the 50-year-old building will be updated. Volunteers have been working feverishly to repair rooms that are empty, so when Dakota Estates has a clearer plan, the rooms will be ready.


"Have your trust to know that, we're working on it, want it to be better, and we need your help," Stenvold said.

A fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lidgerwood. Doors to the event will open at 4 p.m.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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