Letter: Support the county homeDespite the two to one majority support from the 2008 referendum to continue funding the County’s public nursing home....you can see from Supervisor Hermsen’s response to the Star-Observer Editorial on the County nursing home there are some County Board supervisors that still have a “laser focus” to shut down our nursing home, despite what the electorate said back in 2008.
By: Kim Dupre, Emerald, Hudson Star-Observer
Deja vu all over again. Despite the two to one majority support from the 2008 referendum to continue funding the County’s public nursing home....you can see from Supervisor Hermsen’s response to the Star-Observer Editorial on the County nursing home there are some County Board supervisors that still have a “laser focus” to shut down our nursing home, despite what the electorate said back in 2008.
To address the Supervisor’s comments on the pay for our County nursing home, what was left out of his comments is this is a five-star facility as rated by the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare – that is the highest rating possible for a nursing home. If our facility is the best of the best – why wouldn’t you pay your workers more? If our society pays top performing athletes, salesman, or managers considerably more than average – why would you begrudge low-paid nursing home workers an extra $2/hour?
The other fact left out of his comments on the County nursing home’s funding from State and local subsidies is that our County home has historically housed a higher percentage of needy residents than other non-profit or private homes – 65-70 percent of our residents are on Medicaid. If you talk to our admission folks – many times our residents were turned away from the other facilities – that is why they are here in the first place.
As far as only serving 60 residents – that is inaccurate. Our nursing home, like others, admits and discharges residents regularly – so double that number. Also include all the family members who are also served and the 202 jobs and the $12,000,000/year impact this facility has on the community according to NorthStar’s Economic Impact study.
I find it short-sighted to blame the nursing home for the wheel tax in this County. What other County departments get 95 percent of their budget from non-tax sources? And when only 3 percent of our property tax owners are in arrears – I don’t see how one can conclude the $7.20/tax parcel/year cost for the nursing home is bankrupting the County or taxpayers.
If you would like to help those of us who are in this battle once again to keep this public nursing home open, please visit www.stcroixhome.org and share the information you find with all your family, friends and neighbors. Please vote “yes” on April 3 for the county nursing home.