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Henry County-owned nursing home solidly in the black

Henry County-owned nursing home solidly in the black

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CAMBRIDGE — Hillcrest Nursing Home continues to operate at a profit.

Health and social services chairman Jan May told Henry County Board members Thursday night that the nursing home ended fiscal year 2019 with a profit of $220,329.52.

May said the state had contributed an influx of money through an intergovernmental transfer based on improvements made to the facility.

She also said new Hillcrest administrator Janet Holmberg has had great ideas in a push towards recognizing and improving county staff instead of filling vacant shifts with people from expensive agencies.

"Janet has come up with ideas to do that," said May. "She has recruited nurses, but we're still short of CNAs. We're recruiting and offering incentives to cover shifts in-house."

May said county employees working shifts with vacancies are enrolled in a drawing for a $500 gift certificate, and in the month of December, 34 agency shifts were covered by county employees for a total savings of $6,850.

The home's goal is to have agency staff completely out by June if not sooner.

Board member Roger Gradert credited two administrators — Holmberg and former administrator Lorna Brown — with keeping the home in the black. Board chairman Marshall Jones agreed.

The board tabled a cannabis-related policy that would prohibit cannabis businesses including cultivation, production of edibles, transportation and dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county while allowing municipalities to decide to have them. The policy was distributed to board members in preparation for a vote next month.

The board had voted 15-3 last October to tax cannabis-related businesses.

At the end of the meeting, board member Kathy Nelson asked the rest of the board to give her and member Bill Preston any questions they have about the cannabis prohibition policy by Jan. 27 so they can take them to their next United Counties Council of Illinois meeting.

Last year's excessive rains caused flooding that ended up with townships and drainage districts submitting $3.1 million in claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Jill Darin reported to the board. That sum grew from an initial request of $1.8 million. She said some of the payments should start arriving at the end of March.

The Rock Island Arsenal should be reaching out to the smaller school systems in the coming year. Board member Roger Gradert reported on a meeting of the Bi-State Regional Commission, saying the Arsenal did outreach with the bigger schools recently and now has plans to reach out to the smaller schools.

"It's hard to realize that the employment down there is split 50-50 with Illinois and Iowa. They are very proactive with trying to be a part of the community," he said. "There is no other area like this area as far as being receptive to the military and they really appreciate it."

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