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LETTER: Nursing home losses continue

To the Editor:

What can I say? Intentional or otherwise, the article written by Jeff Holmquist for the New Richmond News is such an example of journalistic deception for the voting public.

See the "Nursing home finances turning around" article. Slow down and read that article carefully. Doesn't it give the reader the impression that the normal $1.5 million or more loss each year has been solved? Well, it's just not true.

A number of deceptive lines lead the readers to come to a completely false conclusion. I quote "The nursing home is on track to lose about $140,000 this year, Williams said"...

What this article doesn't explain is that the nursing home budget already plans to lose $821,305. The $140,000 is in excess of that planned loss. Therefore the total loss for this year has grown to $961,305.

In addition I will caution the readers that it has been customary, in the past, for the nursing home to come back to the board later in the year for an additional $300,000-$500,000. That would add up to another annual loss of between $1.2 and $1.5 million by year's end. Not much improvement.

If history repeats itself, the total loss for the government-operated nursing home will be much the same. And as in the past the bill for the losses will be added to the property tax bill on our homes and to our payroll taxes.

This could be avoided if the county board would follow the wisdom of most other counties and just stop trying to run a business. The other eight nursing homes in the county flourish without all of this additional tax money and they charge about half of the daily cost of our government-run business.

Tom Irwin

Former HHS Board member