Balzac penned the following and it’d be too bad if it were buried in the comments section:
Is anyone else puzzled by the Town committing another $2.4 million to the previous $3.6 million and $22.8 million to rebuild the Witherell nursing home?
This project alone consumes 10% of our Town debt limit for 20 years. There are 169 towns in Connecticut. 168 of them have concluded that owning a nursing home is not a municipal government function. On the other hand, Greenwich has concluded by a 90%-10% vote at the RTM that it is an absolute necessity. Meanwhile management projects to require $20 million in town subsidy over the next 20 years, and more if the private fundraising falls short of their target of $9.3 million (amount raised in the last 2 years: $250,000). Oh, and if management’s projection of Medicaid reimbursements is off by 1% annually over the next 27 years, that will cost the town another $50 million. Anybody want to bet on that? 2% is $100 million. You will pay this bill. The real beneficiaries of the town subsidy ($1 million this year, $2 million next) are the Teamsters, thru the above-market subsidy to their wages (78% above prevailing).[emphasis added] The payroll above prevailing is $1.8 million annually. Is there another Teamsters-represented nursing home in the state? On the planet? Apparently the taxpayer must shoulder this forever, and be happy to do so.
This lack of vision will end badly, in a decade or so, when the losses become too large, the burden finally too much for the taxpayer (who cares about him, the poor shlub?). Then and only then, will the Town make the decision that 168 Towns came to long ago……
Selectman Drew Marzullo’s on the wrong side of this issue, but perhaps a smart boxing about his ears will bring him around.