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SELBY | Residents in a small South Dakota town are rallying to save a nursing home that employs 50 people, accounting for about one-fourth of the community's workforce.

Selby residents formed nonprofit Walworth County Care Center Inc. to try to keep the Good Samaritan Center in operation, Aberdeen American News reported.

Good Samaritan has served the town of roughly 625 residents for more than 50 years. But the Good Samaritan Society no longer wants to run the facility in Selby, which is 80 miles west of Aberdeen.

"(The nursing home has) been in our town a long time," said resident Dan Biel, who's serving as president of the nonprofit looking to take over.

The town has an incentive to keep the facility open not only to prevent job loss, but because there are about 45 residents who live in the home, according to Biel.

"It would be catastrophic to move those residents at this stage in their lives," he said.

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Walworth County Care Center is working with the Good Samaritan Society to buy the nursing home and transition its operations, Biel said. The nonprofit will need to fundraise $500,000 to help keep the home open for another 50 years, he said.

The society has been looking for an alternative for the facility after analyzing the regulatory environment and health care reimbursements to determine whether the site is sustainable, said Aaron Woods, the society's director of corporate communications.

But Woods said he's hopeful about the ongoing discussions with the nonprofit in Selby.

"What's significant about this relationship is that if we're successful in gaining approval from the city it will ensure sustainable operations for those that we care for," he said. "And that's been our mission all along ... We believe Selby will look like a success story with this partnership."

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