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Our View: Ballot question finally gains county approval

After months of back and forth, the St. Croix County Board has finally approved a referendum question for the November ballot in regard to the operation of the New Richmond nursing home.

The question asks voters, in essence, if the county should continue to use public tax monies to help operate the nursing home.

Although the referendum vote is non-binding, the public input on the issue should go a long way toward deciding the facility's future.

With a high voter turn-out expected for the November presidential election, county supervisors should get a pretty good idea what their constituents think about subsidizing the nursing home operation.

It's anybody's guess what the majority will say.

What we do know, however, is that the need for nursing home facilities will only continue to grow as the Baby Boomers age. Some of those folks will be able to pay for their own care in private or public care centers. Others will need help to foot the bill.

The St. Croix Health Center nursing home is a community asset that will be worth saving for decades to come.

Keeping it operating as a partially-funded public facility may not make financial sense for the County Board, but it does make sense from a public health standpoint.

As you head to the polls in November, educate yourself on the issues and cast an informed ballot. The future of the nursing home is as important to local voters as who our next president will be.

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