LETTER: Voters support nursing homeIn November of 2008, St. Croix County residents said it with votes. The employees said it with wage and benefit cuts and the residents and families have said it with support.
To the Editor:
In November of 2008, St. Croix County residents said it with votes. The employees said it with wage and benefit cuts and the residents and families have said it with support. In April of 2012 St. Croix County residents once again said it with votes. The votes translated into “We want to keep the St. Croix Nursing Home open, even if it means drawing on the levy.”
Opened in 1897, the St. Croix County Nursing Home has proudly and compassionately served residents for 115 years. During that long period the facility was self-sustaining with a large enough profit margin to aid the county in leaner times. It was not until 2000 that the St. Croix County Nursing Home came onto the levy. Changes in procedures and departments in the county by the then current boards may have had a hand in the demise of the profitability.
A 1990 audit report revealed the following: In prior years, certain fixed assets of the nursing home financed by the general county and the nursing home were rented to St. Croix County Human Services Board for unified services programs and social services programs. (Rental payments received by the nursing home in 1989 totaled approximately $325,000.) Effective Jan. 1, 1990, the county discontinued these interfund rental payments and removed these fixed assets from the nursing home’s records. (The Human Services Department’s records were adjusted to reflect the cost of major movable and transportation equipment transferred to that fund and all other property and plant became part of the general fixed assets of the county.) The book value of the fixed assets removed from the nursing home’s financial records totaled $2,314,452.)
The failure of current and past nursing home administration to address facility issues and code changes in a timely, economical and responsible manner has led too much of the financial burden the nursing home now faces. It is easy to blame wages and benefits for the problem rather than address the real issues.
In 2011 the idea of expanding the nursing home to include additional services and assisted living was proposed. The idea was tabled and upon the election of the new county board the idea has been lost in records, just like the many assets of the St. Croix County Nursing Home.
If all the funds which have been transferred from the St. Croix County Nursing Home to the county were returned, we would not be having this conversation.
You are not listening!