WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Financial hardships have made Black Hawk County decide to sell its county owned nursing facility. Country View is one of the last two care facilities in the state that are county operated. The other is Sunny Crest in Dubuque.
Country View is expecting a $2 million budget deficit this year, and a $3 million loss for the next fiscal year. County Supervisor Craig White said keeping it is too much of a burden on taxpayers.
“I’m a big supporter of country view. I have been for a number of years, but when I drive by the foodbank every day and see the number of people using the foodbank still, it concerns me the number of people that are low-income. That would affect their taxes,” White said.
Melissa Lee and Debra Vivians work at Country View. They said they are concerned what the sale will mean for the future of the facility.
“What’s going to happen to our residents, are they going to be able to live there, where are they going to go?” Vivians said.
“It effects everyone involved, the community is upset,” Lee said. “Some people are scrambling to find places for their loved ones already.”
The board is currently deciding between two buyers. Vivians and Lee said they want the board to reconsider completely. They said one of the options has very low reviews and does not offer the specialized care County View currently has.
“We are a four star and we’re very proud of the care that we give our residents,” Vivians said. “Our residents deserve to get the best care that we give them, and if it’s a one star, what kind of care are they going to get?”
The women said the center has tried new ways to save money, and asks the board to give the center’s administration a chance to make up for the budget issues.
The board is going to Minnesota on Thursday to look at the facilities of the potential buyers. White said he is not concerned about ratings.
“That’s why we want to go look at the place ourselves, get an idea. I know what Country View is, I know how it operates,” White said. “All five of us supervisors want to make sure we do it right. We just don’t want to hurry into something and make a big mistake.”
White said there is no timeline on the sale, but employees say they hope it will not happen at all.
“We hope the board changes their mind, we hope that their visit to Minnesota doesn’t turn out to what they would hope it would be. We hope that when they go up there they have a change of heart,” Vivians said.