Reader wants to close county nursing home
Lakeview Manor Nursing Home is a Waupaca County health facility located in the rural area of Weyauwega.
Funding to run this nursing home comes from the Waupaca County taxpayers. Therefore, if you are a taxpayer in Waupaca County, you should very interest in Lakeview Manor’s budget request which was presented to the County Board on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and which will be voted on after the public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Fact: Lakeview Manor is requesting over $930,000 to be paid by the taxpayer, and they will withdraw over $150,000 from their savings account for a total of over $1 million to pay their operating costs during the 2016 budget year, to take care of 32 people who could go to any other nursing home in Waupaca County.
Fact: Currently, Lakeview Manor has $1.4 million in an Enterprise Savings Account that cannot be used by any other Waupaca County department.
Why isn’t the County Board insisting Lakeview Manor use $930,000 of their $1.4 million savings account, and not make the taxpayers shell out $930,000? In this year’s Waupaca County budget, Lakeview Manor will get $937,000 from the taxpayers, and they get to keep the $1.4 million in their savings account.
Fact: Many years ago, Lakeview Manor was built to replace the old Waupaca County Asylum. It was built as a nursing home with a mental health license, that enabled it to take care of the Waupaca County residents who might otherwise be put in state institutions. It served a definite purpose at that time. It took in the residents other private nursing homes could not handle. Lakeview Manor’s special mental health license set it apart from other private nursing homes in the county. But that is not the case any longer.
Fact: Around 1990, Lakeview Manor gave up their mental health license and became a skilled nursing home, competing with all the other skilled nursing homes in Waupaca County. With 12 nursing homes in this county, I believe Waupaca County has more empty nursing home beds than any other county in Wisconsin. Waupaca County is now running a nursing home in direct competition to the private nursing homes, and they are charging taxpayers almost $1 million every year to keep it open.
Fact: Contrary to what many taxpayers believe Lakeview Manor offers no incentives or cost reductions to Waupaca County residents. Their current room rate is $262.50 per day for everyone on private pay, even if you are a taxpayer in this county. This is the third highest daily rate among the 12 nursing homes in Waupaca County. There is no shortage of available beds in this county, and Lakeview Manor has a $12,000 yearly advertising budget to try to bring residents to their facility. If you are unable to pay the private pay rate, you would apply for Medicaid, just as you would at any other nursing home.
Lakeview Manor Board members will tell you they are saving up to help finance a remodeling of the Lakeview Manor Nursing Home and the building of a CBRF (Community Based Residential Facility). I feel this project is definitely not needed and will result in more assessments on the taxpayer. Instead of owning one facility (a skilled nursing home) that is no longer needed, Waupaca County will own two facilities (a CBRF) on the tax levy with projected costs to the taxpayer to near an average of $1.6 million a year for the next 10 years.
It’s time we put an end to this funding. Please contact your county supervisors and tell them you do not want to be taxed any longer to run a skilled nursing home that cares for 32 people, is competing with private nursing homes and does not have the mental health license it once had. You can go on line to the Waupaca County website or call the Waupaca County clerk’s office at 715-258-6200 to ask for the name of your county supervisor or send a letter directly to the county clerk or come to the public hearing.