Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Happens to the "Old" BelWood Building and Acreage?

Next to nothing has been reported in the media about what will happen to the 43 year old?? BelWood once the move is made to Heading Avenue. It will cost millions for demolishing, environmental testing and site preparation. If the building, now deemed unfit as a nursing home, is to be used for further Peoria County expansion and maintenance, more millions will be needed to be spent as the roof reportedly needs replacing, no small cost on such a large expanse.

Or will just a portion of the building be used and the rest allowed to deteriorate?

Talk about accusations about the lack of transparency by government by the Journal Star and other medias. The new building is being built on the basis of a 2003 BW referendum, that was sold to the public on incomplete information. An example was a quote by Peoria County Board Member and Health and Environment Chair, Lynn Pearson, that "BelWood would need to be closed if the referendum failed to pass", a falsehood, no information to the voter that BW was already $4.1 million in debt at the time of the referendum, that the whole building could have been renovated including new plumbing, wiring, a new roof and sprinkler system for less that $6 million in year 2001.

Later estimates for the same expanded construction for $12.5 million in 2007. Then, a consulting company was brought in and figure for both renovation and a new building jumped by millions of dollars in a very short period of 2 years or so.

Nor did the full board ever approve that over $1,000,000.00 of indirect property taxes were given to BW to subsidize operations (starting in slightly over one year after the 2003 tax levy hike was approved by the voters). Over $500,000 was additionally given to BW from other county funds for maintenance.

In 2007, the federal government authorized over $237,000 to help install a new sprinkler system. That money was eventually diverted to such things as architect, consulting cost, etc.

Or the BW was fined $10,100.00 a couple of years ago by the state for infractions that never appeared in any news media? When I asked the SA about lawsuits against BW, his answer was "that is the nature of nursing homes" and I was unable to get actual numbers or dollars.

Long ago, I was convinced that the County of Peoria should not be in the nursing home business. the County could afford to sell for a small amount just to get out from under the $3 million yearly property taxes. Board member Mayer says the county "is obligated" to spend the 2003 referendum tax increase forever on BW.

Oh, come on Allen. That why we have influential people elected to the State Legislature. To make and amend laws, not just to enforce them.

Transparency abetted by the media when the media complains of a "lack of transparecy in government?? You bet, goes on all the time.

$70,000,000.00 for a "safety net" for the poor?? Give me a break. Would the fact that the County board is dominated by Democrats and BW employes 160 union members (translates into Democrat votes) have anything to do with building a new nursing home home? Give me another break.

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