The Heritage Living Center has been impacted by the pandemic.

A debt service payment is due Sept. 11. Administrator Kurt Hansen is still gathering figures, “but we’re concerned there may be a potential shortfall in the ability to pay,” reported county commissioner Dave De La Hunt at the Sept. 1 Hubbard County Board meeting. “We’ve contemplated using CARES Act funding to pick up the difference, but we don’t really know where they’re at. It’s kind of dynamic.”

Board chair Char Christenson pointed out this is a trend faced by nursing home facilities across the U.S.

“It’s COVID that caused the problem,” De La Hunt said.

“And continues to be a problem,” added Christenson, “because people aren’t willing to move in at this point.”

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De La Hunt suggested using CARES funding, if possible, for the county-owned facility “to make sure those payments are made.”

County Administrator Eric Nerness said the monies cannot be used to replace revenue for counties or municipalities, but are available for private entities. “My thought is this is not a question about revenue. What the question here is, because of low census, Heritage may not be able to meet a financial obligation. If they cannot meet a financial obligation, it becomes an obligation of the county,” he said.

Nerness said he thought it would be eligible for CARES, but that could be confirmed with the county attorney.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Granted permission to Farden Township to work with the DNR to increase the channel width of the Necktie River along 470th Street by dredging a portion of tax-forfeited land adjacent to the township road.

  • Approved a memorandum of agreement with Law Enforcement Labor Services Local 400 for “on-call” pay duty designation of investigators.

  • Approved the low quote of $11,373.22 from MidStates Wireless, Fargo, N.D., for installation of a bi-directional amplifier in the government center, as recommended by the sheriff.

  • Approved $5,887 in CARES funding to the Northwestern Minnesota Juvenile Center (NMJC). NMJC’s original request was for $33,675.