The sale of Weatherwood, the nursing home and rehabilitation center in Weatherly, was a hard decision that the Carbon County commissioners wish they didn't have to make. But the money from the sale is helping the county offset some of its expenses and is contributing to another year of no increases for county real estate taxes.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, talked about the sale of the nursing home as a major factor in helping to balance 2011's budget.
He noted that had the county not sold Weatherwood, which was costing taxpayers $3 million annually or $8,220 a day, a tax increase would have been necessary to keep the county operating in the black.
The sale of Weatherwood, which went to Guardian Elder Care of Brockway for $11,050,000, is providing a surplus that the county is now using wisely.
After the sale was finalized on July 1, the county was able to reimburse the general fund $4.9 million, which was loaned to Weatherwood in 2009 and 2010 to help offset rising costs.
Officials are also utilizing $2.5 million of the remaining funds from the sale to offset a $2.2 million deficit that is expected from less revenue coming into the county and higher operational expenses.
The county will also place $1.5 million from the Weatherwood account