News Local/State

Some County Democrats Want To Keep The Nursing Home


Last week all nine county-wide elected officials signed a statement calling on the county board to sell the nursing home as soon as possible to a reasonable buyer.

This week, seven county board democrats signed a statement saying the county should give the new nursing home management group a chance to succeed.

Kyle Patterson is one of the seven board members who signed the statement. He said the new management group SAK has already freed up $250,000 that the prior management failed to find. He also said that a new state budget should help the nursing home recoup money the state owes. "I think it’s premature for us to be discussing selling the nursing home or putting out projections based on worst-case scenarios," Patterson said.

This past spring, Champaign County voters passed a referendum giving the county board the authority to sell the nursing home. But, Patterson says that referendum did not order the county to sell. "The reality is that what the voters did approve was to give the county the authority to sell the nursing home. Prior to the referendum we didn’t have the authority to do that. It does not necessarily serve as a guarantee, but it does give us that option," he added.

Patterson conceded that there may be a time when the county will have to sell the nursing home, but now is not the time.