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Board approves $400,000 loan to Weatherwood

Published November 06. 2009 05:00PM

Carbon County is trying to keep its nursing home afloat.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board approved a $400,000 loan to Weatherwood to help offset a growing deficit.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said this loan is the fifth time the county has given money to the nursing home this year.

To date, nearly $2.5 million has been transferred from the county's general fund to Weatherwood to help cover expenses.

O'Gurek said that because numbers are down in the 200-bed nursing home, the revenues coming in have not been enough to cover all the expenses that are anticipated.

These loans, Robert Crampsie, county controller; said will probably turn into transfers at the end of the year, because Weatherwood currently does not have the income to repay these loans.

O'Gurek added that a feasibility study, which is being completed by the Susquehanna Group Advisors, Inc. of Harrisburg, to provide the county with information on the strengths and weaknesses of the facility and provide a report on the operations and the options the county has with operating a nursing home, should be ready for presentation soon. The cost of the study is $17,750.

The study will give the county an idea of what they should do about the financially troubled nursing home.

At a previous meeting, the board agreed that they are not looking at closing or selling the home, but are weighing their options.

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.

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."

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