Care Center a Concern

Editor, News-Register:

In January, 2016, Monroe County had $6.3 million in cash reserves. That reserve is now under $100,000. Monroe County is on the verge of a serious financial crisis.

This problem is directly related to the operation of the Monroe County Care Center. The care center has been losing money continuously since at least 2010. State auditor records show that between 2010 and 2012, the care center had a net loss of $198,183. County advances made to cover losses at the care center for the next three year period 2013 to 2015 were $424,452.

It would appear that, by the close of business in 2015, any reasonable person would have been able to determine that the care center had lost at least $622,635 in the preceding six years and that continued operation of the care center at a loss would adversely affect the financial stability of the county.

In the 41-month period, from January, 2016, to the end of May, 2019, the county commissioners approved additional “advances” to the care center totaling $6,689,455 or an average of $163,157 per month. The commissioners set aside $500,000 to cover anticipated deficits for all of 2019. That money is already gone.The loss for the month of May alone was in excess of $270,000. Losses at the care center since January 2013, now total $7,113,908.

The most recent commissioners meeting was on June 3. No action was taken at that meeting concerning the care center and it appears that there is no plan of action in place to address this problem. A representative of the State Auditor’s office will be meting with the commissioners on Monday, June 10 to discuss the county’s financial issues.

This letter only addresses the financial issues of the care center and should not be considered a criticism of the quality of care given to the residents of the facility or of the employees of the care center. The only purpose of this correspondence is to make your readers aware of the actual numbers associated with the continued operation of the facility.

Judge James W. Peters

Woodsfield

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