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August 1, 2012 - 10:05pm

Slow state payments for nursing home may force county to borrow money

posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home.

CORRECTIONS: County Treasurer Scott German sent along these corrections: The IGT is a federal program, it is a state pass-thru. The amount of the IGT is yet to be determined by the state and the feds. Also, 50% of the IGT amount is paid be Genesee County taxpayers directly, it's a 50% match."

The Genesee County Nursing Home owes $3.2 million to the county's general fund, Treasurer Scott German told the Ways and Means Committee today.

Unless the state does the unexpected and transfers money owed to the nursing home before December, the county will need to seek a temporary loan to make its annual pension fund payment due by the end of the year.

"It's possible (the state payment) could happen this year, but it's doubtful," German said. "It's more likely to happen in the second or third quarter of next year."

The state owes the nursing home about $3.2 million in intergovernment transfer funds, and the county also expects to be paid about $500,000 from the nursing home for the indirect services it provides to help keep the facility operational.

Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock said she gets a lot of confused questions from constituents about the state of the county's budget, because they read that sales tax is up $540,000 over budget, or the county got more revenue in the tax lien auction than anticipated.

It's situations like this, Hancock said, that put the county in such a dire financial position.

"It’s very hard for our constituents to understand what’s going on," Hancock said. "We should have more money than we do and we have less than anybody thinks."

Hancock added later, "We cling to the good news, but the fact of the matter is this is a crisis, a financial crisis."

The county will need to keep paying the nursing home bills, German said, regardless of how long it takes the state to reimburse the expense.

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