ILA project doubtful
Nursing home unlikely to obtain loan
By Jane Myhra
There may not be a new nursing home in Iola’s future.
The chance of being approved for a loan does not look good, according to Iola Living Assistance Administrator Greg Loeser.
During a recent Iola Roundtable, Loeser reported the nursing home lost over $522,000 last year, due to the state’s underfunding of Medicaid.
“It has gotten so bad we can’t keep up,” he said. “So the plan to replace the nursing home is in jeopardy. It could be off the table – I am not sure.”
He said about 99 percent of nursing homes lose money because of state programs.
“It’s a tough business to be in these days – it’s a serious situation,” Loeser said. “With a Community Based Residential Facility (CBRF), you can almost take care of the same people for the same cost.”
Other business people at the meeting asked what may be done to improve the situation.
“This thing has come from a small problem and now it’s so big Madison doesn’t know what to do,” Loeser said.
“If it doesn’t happen now, the building project could be pushed down the road a few years,” said ILA board member Lonnie Przybylski.
The Roundtable event continued with presentations from several businesses and civic organizations.
Of special interest was the information provided by Fire Chief Jim Aanstad. He said the Iola Rural Fire Department responded to 85 incidents in 2016 and the Iola Ambulance had 363 calls.
One of the IRFD’s recent calls was an ice rescue on Hatch Lake, with the aid of the Scandinavia Fire Department.
“We got our guys out on the water and then Scandinavia came with their gear,” Aanstad said. “Scandy did an awesome job and we worked very well together.”
The Iola fire and ambulance departments are currently working on getting automated external defibrillators at different various locations in Iola. Both departments are also looking for volunteers.
The eighth annual Iola Roundtable was sponsored by the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce.