Committee seeking study of potential sale of OC nursing home
Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:55 pm
By JOHN BRANNON
Messenger Staff Reporter
A formal request for the Obion County Commission to take a “long-range look” at the Obion County Nursing Home received unanimous support by the Obion County Budget Committee Mon-day.
A motion by commissioner Dwayne Hensley regarding the nursing home came after much discussion about not only policies and procedures but also the future of the 56-bed facility.
“The only way this committee can give an opinion of what the value of that nursing home is (is to) appropriate the funds to hire an appraiser,” said commissioner Steve Rice.
“We need more than a local appraiser,” said commissioner and budget committee chairman Danny Jowers.
“We need to find someone who does it for a living,” Rice said.
“Or you can simply say, ‘It’s our recommendation (that) we sell it and get what we can get for it,” Jowers said. “Hand out (invitations for) bids and be done with it. The people out there know what it’s worth. Companies that want it know what it’s worth. They’d be buying the best.
“There’s no one in this room that would sell over a $1 million asset without having some type formal appraisal,” Rice said.
The committee then acted on a motion entered by Hensley.
“The motion is to forward it to county (commission), let them make the recommendation, let them know there’s going to be money involved for an appraisal,” Jowers said.
After a unanimous voice vote, Jowers again addressed the topic.
“Let’s make this clear,” he said. “The motion was not to sell the nursing home. It was to look at a long-range plan of what to do with the nursing home.”
In an earlier statement to the committee, Jowers said it’s time to take the bull by the horns. Obion County, he said, as owner of the facility, is “dabbling and dealing” in things it shouldn’t. “We are trying to compete with private enterprise to run a nursing home and we shouldn’t be doing that,” he said. “We’ve got assets out there that could be used for other purposes. We have land out there that could be subdivided and have houses put on it. ...
“What is our long-term goal for the nursing home?... Maybe now is the time to get out of the health care business. We got out of the health care business with the hospital but we stayed in it with the nursing home.”
Commissioner Donnie Bras-well agreed. “It needs to be addressed. We’ve been talking about it, but putting it off,” he said.
Commissioner Steve Rice asserted that employees of the nursing home — from the administrator on down — are different from other county employees. “You can’t compare the administrator of other (county government) offices with the administrator of the nursing home,” Rice said. “You may have to pay the nursing home administrator more than you do the administrator of other offices. (The salary) is set by the marketplace. If other nursing home administrators are making $100,000 a year and you only offer $60,000 (a year), you’re not going to hire anybody.”
Rice entered a motion to amend the policy of the nursing home and require that any and all future incentive pay and bonuses awarded to nursing home employees be presented to the county commission for approval. But the committee voted instead to table the motion until its September meeting.
Published in The Messenger 8.5.09
Obion County Nursing Home