MAYVILLE - County Home officials were questioned Wednesday by legislators as part of the 2012 budget review process.
At one point, Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown, questioned whether there is any way the facility could break even next year and operate at no cost to the county.
Tim Hellwig, County Home administrator, told Nazzaro and the members of the two committees present Wednesday that, no, that is not possible.
Representatives from the County Home answer questions before the legislature's Human Services Committee on Wednesday.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicholas L. Dean
"It is always possible to allow the level of care to deteriorate ... to do those things to come in on budget," Hellwig said, "But to operate in a conscientious way and provide care where it needs to be, because of our cost structure and large contractual costs and a very high fringe factor, no, it's not."
Currently in the tentative 2012 budget is an expenditure of $500,630 for funding for the County Home.
Nazzaro and other lawmakers questioned that sum Wednesday, remarking that a decision needs to be made by the legislature as to whether it should remain or not.
The $500,630 sum is currently set to be spent on IGT funding in 2012, technically termed Intergovernmental Transfers.
For every dollar paid by the county, the County Home can receive matching funding from the federal government. According to Darin Schulz, the county's finance director, the current amount budgeted in 2012 will buy the county at least $1 million and maybe $1.3 million.
The total amount the County Home could receive in IGT funding in 2012 totals $3,588,885. To receive that money, however, the county would need to increase its contribution by anywhere from $877,000 to $1,293,000 on top of the $500,630 which is already budgeted.
Though an effort is under way by the county to try to privatize the County Home, legislators will have to decide whether to spend the budgeted $500,630 or cut that amount or spend more in 2012.
The County Home is budgeting a $2.7 million loss next year. To shore up that loss, the County Home will have to spend down some of its fund balance.
At the end of 2012, after taking into account the $2.7 million loss, County Home officials expect to have a fund balance of almost $3.2 million. That figure, however, was calculated with the expectation that the county will spend $500,630 in order for the County Home to receive IGT funding.
If the county does not spend $500,630 on IGT funding next year, the County Home will end 2012 with a fund balance closer to $2.7 million. County Home officials provided rough estimates Wednesday with the caveat that there are a lot of unknown factors which could change the numbers next year.
Nazzaro then pointed out that the County Home could possibly deplete its fund balance within the next two years.