Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2001

County must reach decision on home

October 3, 2001

Leavenworth County commissioners have found a company with the wherewithall and the interest necessary to take over operations of the county infirmary.

The county-run nursing home has been a financial drain on taxpayers for some time. It's unlikely the financial outlook for the home will improve unless the county sinks a great deal more into the home in an effort to further improve and expand the building and services offered there.

So it makes sense that commissioners are working toward entering into an agreement with a privately held company for operation of the nursing home. During a session Thursday morning, commissioners will talk with representatives of Citadel Holding company, a Kansas City-based firm that operates several nursing homes.

No one would argue that commissioners should not be concerned about residents of the county home. In fact, commissioner Bob Adams' mother is a resident of the infirmary. He and other commissioners, rightly so, feel an obligation to the residents of the infirmary.

But commissioners also feel an obligation to the taxpayers of Leavenworth County. It makes little sense to continue to operate the county infirmary at a deficit. Last year, commissioners transferred $89,000 from the general fund into the nursing home, and so far this year well more than $100,000 has been transferred.

If negotiations with the Kansas City firm fall through, commissioners must quickly find a firm that can take over operation of the home or commissioners must close the infirmary.

It would be a painful decision to close the home, but at some point the tax burden will be too great to keep it open.

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