Carbon County is raising the rate for private pay rooms at Weatherwood, the county nursing home.

During the county commissioners' meeting, the board voted to approve the request of Weatherwood Administrator Louise Bekisz, asking to increase the private pay daily room rate by $10 a day to $195 a day; and increase the cable charge by $2 a month to $9 per month. The action takes effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said even with this $10 a day increase, Weatherwood's private pay rooms are still the lowest around.

Currently, O'Gurek explained, Weatherwood has 30 private pay residents at the facility.

In recent months, Weatherwood has had issues financially.

Reasons for the financial problems, the county cited include the nursing home's population, which is dropping, and the rising costs of operating the facility.

According to a previous article published in the TIMES NEWS, the gap between revenue and expenses may translate into a $2.5 million county contribution in 2010. This is up significantly from this year's county contribution, which was $350,000. The money was used to balance the deficit the nursing home recently experienced. Up until 2009, Weatherwood had been self-sustaining.

This deficit is a new occurrence for Weatherwood, which was built in 1972.

At one time, the nursing home had a surplus in its fund of $8 million, but government funding regulation changes caused the county to be using Weatherwood's surplus to offset operational costs and capital projects. The account was then closed and all remaining money was transferred into an account known as the "Weatherwood Account."