Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Heddington Oaks - Peoria County Owned Nursing Home - Buyer Considering Taking a Look-See???
This 2 year old money losing $51 million (give or take a million or so) home for the poor, private and Alzheimer patients, is rumored to have a potential buyer investigating this $4 1/2 million (again, give or take a couple hundred thousand) dollar yearly loser that was supposed to be by now, self-supporting, according to former County Board Administrator and now Peoria City Manager, Patrick Urich. It also cost the property taxpayer around $1 1/2 million to demolish Bel-Wood when it should have been sold for any amount as low as $1 to a organization who knows how to run a nursing home. In 2008, only seven counties out of 102, still had taxpayer funded County Nursing homes. Tazewell County and other County residents were coming to Bel-Wood and now are coming to Heddington Oaks supported by taxes paid not by these other counties but by Peoria County property taxpayers. I strongly fought the building of Heddington Oaks. But Democrat, Phil Salzer, a nice guy and a great athletic manager, who was quoted in the jS on June 6/2009, "A simple choice: replace Bel-Wood", our administrator and everybody on the board except myself supported closing Bel-Wood and building Hedddinton Oaks. Near the end of the debate, I believe a couple of Republicans began to believe me. County Board Chairman denies knowledge of any buyer investigation but you may recall, I blogged that Bel-Wood departing Manager, Matt Neukirk, was quoted in the JS that the home would probably have to be sold in 5 years. On June 6/2009 and on June 13/2009, I was quoted on the JS Editorial page as saying "Cost too high for county to keep supporting BelWood". On June 7, 2009, the JS Editors ran this headline, "Don't add unnecessary delays for new Bel-Wood (Heddington Oaks"). In the article, they said. "only one County Board Member sought to hit the brakes on this entire project". (That was me, of course). The JS almost always supports optimistic projections for any taxpayer funded project, and to date, most all of these projections that were VERY optimistic with the problem being that the ideas seemed good, they missed these projections, some badly like the PRM, etc. This being bad forthe benefit of the overwhelming majority of the property tax payers in Peoria and Peoria County. Why are all these new under-funded projects being built driving more property taxpaying Peorians out of Peoria? You might consider as an example that at the time of the Bel-Wood replacement votes, 12 of the 18 member County Board were Democrats and Bel-Wood employed 200 union members. P.S. I was also told by resident families that there is dissatisfaction with the relatively new Heddington Oaks administration and that some of the nurses were mean to their patients. Of course, I've heard the complaints about other nursing homes but these homes are mostly totaled owned by the private sector. Hmmmm.