Hope Creek lottery ticket idea floated around

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A new committee looking into ways to save Hope Creek Nursing Home from being sold or leased is exploring any and all options.

One member says, he believes the nursing home could hit the jackpot with its own lottery ticket.

Don Lind says there are lottery tickets for special interests, including breast cancer research and veterans organizations. So why not government owned nursing homes in the state?

"I've talked to Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Mike Jacobs," said Don Lind. "I want to see the Illinois Lotto have an amendment for nursing homes only," he said.

Some ideas are far fetched but all are being floated around the table on a weekly basis to see where money can be saved and earned to help with an anticipated 2.5 million dollar deficit next year.

"We're not looking for a silver bullet, we're looking for long term ways for this facility to continue," says member Steve Meersman.

They're also looking at lobbying to try and change a state law to allow fewer Medicaid residents to try and increase revenue.

"We're not looking at drastic changes, we just need a little bit of flexibility," said member Richard Brunk.

Selling or leasing the county-owned home is also on the table, but looked at as a last resort, according to Meersman.

When asked if they are just "prolonging the inevitable" on a sinking ship, Meersman said "no".

"It's only sinking if we let it and we're not ready to sink. We think we have the enthusiasm to make this work," he said.

Voters will decide in March if they are willing to pay higher taxes to help support the home, but that won't be enough to close the gap.