BV County is looking at possibly selling the Spectra County Care Facility building, which was County run up until 1986. It was then privatised when Spectra took over the mental healthcare.
The County is questioning the current arrangement with questions of whether or not they should remain the landlords or if it should be sold and completely privatised. The BV County Board of Supervisors passed a motion Tuesday to hire an appraiser to put a value on the property.
Sue Morrow, Administrator with Spectra Health Care said if Spectra had to purchase it, they would need to increase their provider rate and currently the facility is struggling financially she says.
On June 17, Dawn Mentzer approached the Board with a letter of request for an 15 percent increase for Spectra's provider rate. The Board was also provided with a list of expenditures for the facility's last fiscal year.
The County was concerned about how the increase would affect the counties who use Spectra. Currently BV County does not have any clients at Spectra and hasn't had any clients within the last year making it a budget neutral issue for Buena Vista.
However, Morrow said that although the list of expenditures was their most recent and complete year, it was already 18 to 20 months too old with rising gas and food prices.
Morrow said the 15 percent increase would only be enough to cover the operational costs. Over the years Morrow said they haven't had enough funds in their budget so they've been forced to cut positions and benefits and no word of increased funds for the provider rates from the State.
Morrow said the company has always been able to provide wages above the minimum wage until recently. She said they lost their hiring advantage when they weren't able to meet the $1.90 an hour increase "We want to be able to hire good employees and pay them what they're worth," says Morrow. "We need to build up (our funds) so they can put benefits back in place." However, even with a 15 percent increase she said they won't get the build up they need.
The Board made a motion for a five percent increase for the 2009 fiscal year.