LETTER: Response to article about HLC
I would like to thank Shannon Geisen of the Enterprise for her article in the Wednesday, Sept. 9 titled “Heritage Living Center facing potential shortfall”.
The article informed the public that Heritage Living Center may not be able to make the debt service payment due Sept. 11. This debt service payment relates to the millions of dollars spent to build the new nursing home building.
Commissioner David De La Hunt suggests using CARES funding to make sure the payments are made.
County Administrator Eric Nerness states that CARES funds cannot be used to replace revenue for counties or municipalities. Nerness then states, “My thought is this is not a question about revenue. What the question is 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.”
Nerness, who is also a licensed attorney, attempts to trick individuals to believe that Heritage’s revenue is not associated with the census. By this action, he is attempting to manipulate the use of the CARES funds. Even more shocking is that it appears Nerness believes the county can manipulate the use of the CARES funds to replace county revenue.
It is clear Heritage Living Center is owned by Hubbard County. It is time the commissioners stop denying this fact and take responsibility. The Heritage Living Center complex, building and property belongs to the county, and therefore, the county does not lose anything by having to make the debt service payments.