Rock Island County Board considers selling Hope Creek Care Center

EAST MOLINE, Illinois - The Rock Island County Board is "seriously considering" selling the county-owned nursing home, Hope Creek Care Center.

"It's scary. We shouldn't be in this place," said county board member Drue Mielke.

The decision to consider selling the nursing home comes after an outside agency was brought in to determine what it would take to turn the cash-strapped nursing home around.

At the Rock Island County Board Meeting on June 12, the firm gave a presentation to the board explaining what would need to be done for that turn around to be successful.

"There could be a turn around, but there are so many things that would have to align for this turn around to happen," said Mielke. "They're paying for things on credit cards. They're maxing out credit cards. Vendors are threatening to stop services," he said.

Mielke says selling the nursing home would be the most responsible decision the board could make.

"It's too complex. It's too complex for county government to run a nursing home. That's my opinion," said Mielke,

This is not the first time the board has considered selling the home.

Mielke said he has wanted to sell the home for the past four years.

He says when the idea was brought up in the past, he supported the idea of selling the nursing home, while others hesitated.

"If we knew it was time to sell, we should have just sold. But, it wasn't popular politically to sell four years ago," said Mielke.

When asked if it is politically popular to sell the nursing home now, Mielke said, "I think it's at that point where there in no other option."

County Board Chairman Richard Brunk says a decision must be made.

"I'd say our backs are to the wall, pretty much. The prudent thing to do would be to act sooner rather than later."

Now, the board has asked county administrator Jim Snider to solicit "Request for Proposals." It's a way to gauge interest in the facility from potential buyers.

Mielke said the goal of a sale would be to find a way to limit the impact to patients and staff at Hope Creek Care Center.

"We like Hope Creek. The workers are wonderful, the care is good, the facility is beautiful, but its so far in the red there is no way! We can't continue," he said.

The county board will re-visit the topic and discuss the consideration at their June 18 meeting.

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