Centre Crest has been called the crown jewel of County government.
That is because the people of Centre County take pride in caring for ours seniors – most of whom have lived their entire life here in Centre County, worked here, and raised their families here.
What makes it such a valuable asset is that families can count on Centre Crest being available when it is needed – when a loved one – regardless of how rich or poor they are -- can longer get the level of care they need at home.
As a county-owned home, the residents, their families, and the public can always take their concerns to the CEO’s of Centre Crest – the Commissioners. The budget and operations are public. No other entity provides that kind of access to decision makers.
Only the continued ownership, operation, and control of Centre Crest by county government can guarantee the future availability of Centre Crest.
Once control is turned over to another entity, all we have is a promise – that the new operators will do their best to provide services.
But what happens if the nonprofit is unable to meet expenses? What other resources does it have?
A nonprofit has a much more limited financial capacity than Centre County.
For example, there is approximately $4 million in outstanding debt for past upgrades to Centre Crest. How will this debt be repaid to the County by the nonprofit?
The CDT reports that Centre Crest had a shortfall of $1.5 million in 2012. That sounds like a scary number.
But it has not been reported that:
1) The $1.5 million breaks down to a contribution of $25 per year for the average household in Centre County – and that has already been included in the current tax bill (no tax increase is necessary); or
2) The $1.5 million is only 5% of Centre Crest’s entire budget – the other 95% is provided by outside funding; or
3) According to the county budget, Centre Crest virtually broke even in 2011.
The Commissioners have hired a consultant to provide guidance. The Commissioners should direct this consultant to use its expertise to assist with Occupancy Development, Budget Development, and Medicare Billing.
The County does not need to change the ownership, operation or control of Centre Crest. It is not necessary. This is something the Commissioners want to do.
For a claimed 25 bucks a year.