One of the few people who follow Valley Hi Nursing Home finances is Susan Handelsman.
She wrote the following in a comment, which I think deserves broader readership:
Valley Hi has 3 problems
1. Ongoing difficulty finding sufficient CNAs and nurses for staffing needs.
2. Centegra, source of most Medicare referrals, is building its own poshy LTC facility, 98 beds.
3. $40 million surplus subject to dispersal to large property taxpayers claiming ( rightfully) excess accumulation.
Same with levy; the levy is more than 275% of predictable annual expenses.
Reduce VH capacity to 80 Medicaid beds.
Current residents grandfathered, but phase out the 38% of capacity representing private pay and Medicare.
There are ample LTC Medicare and private pay beds in the county and soon 98 more, and Centegra will never send another lucrative Medicare referral to VH when they can self -refer to their own new facility.
This solves problem of chronic staffing shortages, staff can be cut by 1/3.
At $70 per day loss per Medicaid patient, an 80 bed facility would cost $2 million a year.
There is $40 million surplus earning little or no interest, and additionally at risk in excess of FDIC coverage.
VH enterprise fund loans the $40 million to another government entity or school.
At 4% interest, the surplus could fund $1.6 million annual VH expenses.
The levy could be cut down to $500,000.
And VH would retain its surplus for decades as it self-funds through a combination of earned interest and spending down surplus capital.
At some point in the future, the will of the voters may offer different referendum guidance.
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The County Board will put its Fiscal Year 2016 budget on file at tonight’s meeting, complete with $3 million more in taxes for the nursing home, which has over $40 million in the bank.
If I were on the County Board, I would make a motion to amend that budget to eliminate that $3 million and lowering the county’s tax take next year to about $76 million.
If you would like to call or email your county board members to express your views on whether they should levy the $3 millions or not, you can find their phone numbers and email addresses here.