Portage County residents vote ‘yes’ to new skilled nursing facility

Come April, voters in Portage County will decide whether or not the new skilled nursing...
Come April, voters in Portage County will decide whether or not the new skilled nursing facility will get $4.5M to fund operations for many years to come.(WSAW)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 9:19 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Voters in Portage County have said ‘yes’ to building a new Portage County Health Care Center.

The question on the ballot read:

Under state law, the increase in the levy of the County of Portage for the tax to be imposed for the next fiscal year, 2023, is limited to 1.894%, which results in a levy of $29,738,344. Shall the County of Portage be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the levy for the next fiscal year, 2023, for the purpose of paying a portion of the cost to operate the Portage County Health Care Center, including costs associated with the construction of a new Portage County Health Care Center facility, by a total of 15.132% which results in a levy of $34,238,344, and include the increase of $4,500,000 for fiscal years 2024 through 2042?

Tuesday, nearly 60% of voters approved the referendum.

Portions of PCHCC date back to the 1930s. While the building is structurally sound, its layout is not ideal.

“Everywhere we look we need a change,” PCHCC Administrator Marcia McDonald said during an interview with NewsChannel 7 in February.

Currently, the skilled nursing home has small bedrooms, a temperamental HVAC system, community showers, and shared restrooms.

McDonald said the building is antiquated. The people living there are often too hot or too cold because of poor insulation.

The new building would be a single floor design, placed in the same location. It’ll have about 40 total beds, along with private bathrooms and showers. The design will also include special hospice areas and rooms for families.

Total cost of the building is about $20 million. A groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place next year.

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