Friday, July 25, 2014

Bel-Wood Nursing Home Demise

According to one veteran Peoria County Board member, this OLD (50 years) former County nursing home is heading for the landfill. Too bad. This 330 bed nursing home could have been renovated, new roof, new plumbing, new electrical, room revisions, etc for around $13 million. This figure was the one quoted by a very reputable firm out of Springfield. But Patrick Urich and the Democrats on the County Board wanted a Taj Mahal for it's majority Medicaid clients. So they got a local constrution firm to estimate renovation, the same construction company that was the successful bidder on a new County nursing home later to be called Heddington Oaks, and they concluded the new nursing woud only cost about $7 million more than renovation. A group of County Board Democrats then went to Chicago with inflated renovation figures and the State of Illinois said "go ahead and build a new one". The new one cost anywhere from $47 million to $51 million depending on whose set of figures you use. Plus 30 years interest, of course. At last report, Peoria County taxpayers were funding Heddington Oak to the tune of $3,000,000.00 plus. They were also paying interest on the approximately millions borrowed to build Heddington Oaks. I've always thought it interesting when people tell me something cost x number of dollars to build but leave out the interest they will pay on the large loan they take out for up to 30 years to build the entity. The museum may have only cost $99 million but the sales tax of ONLY 1.4% over 30 years has now gotten our former County adminstrator worrried that these projected sales taxes are not going to be enough to pay the interest on the already "white elephant" destroying the the landscape on Peoria's most valuable piece of property estimated by a departed City Manager to be worth $19 million while our current Mayor estimated it to have been worth at least $11 million. The JS says the museum is better than "an empty hole in the ground" while they critize people like me for living in a "box". Now our box is looking like we would have been better off if Cat had filled the hole and the city landscaped the "hole" and made one of the most beautiful riverfront parks in Illinois. The taxpayers paid over 2/3 of the $99 million plus interest and the personal donors could have spread their 1/3 donation over the entire county to make Peoria City and County a nicer place to live. As usual, Nerds on Call and my new Lenovo laptop I bought from them have not figured out why I have no spell-check and why the paragraphs I have created in this blog; 7 of them, will disappear when I hit publish. Oh well.

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