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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of August 7 - 13, 2002


Blaine Manor costs questioned by Michael

Express Staff Writer

While the three-member Blaine County Commission breezed through its new 2003 budget with relatively little fuss and muss, Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Mix and Commissioner Sarah Michael found themselves squaring off with chilly words over costs of operating Blaine Manor, the countyís nursing home.

They seemed to see eye-to-eye on only one issue Ė an unexplained $96,000 bill with an assortment of Blaine Manor expenses other than payroll.

Mix agreed that Blaine Manor administrator Gail Goglia should appear before the commission next week to explain the bill.

But Mix seemed unsympathetic to Michaelís request for information about "comparable facilities" and whether Blaine Manorís expenses are unusual.

Michael pointed out that although the manorís administrator told commissioners she was "comfortable" with the budget that included a $414,000 increase for the operation, Blaine Manor has now asked for $260,000 more, which county clerk Marsha Riemann said could be transferred from the countyís reserves.

Mix responded that studies, whose source she did not cite, show that costs are 41 percent higher in a resort community such as the Wood River Valley.

Thereupon this paraphrased exchange of clipped sentences began.

Michael: How does Blaine Manor compare with other communities?

Mix: There are no comparables.

Michael: Iím just looking for benchmarking. Asking for benchmarking is not unreasonable.

Mix: We canít seem to give you (Michael) enough information to make you understand.

Michael: Blaine Manor has added one-and-half more patients, but two-and-a-half more staffers.

Mix: Iím comfortable with the FTEs (fulltime equivalent employees).

At that point, unable to agree, Mix invited Michael to attend the Blaine Manor board meeting scheduled today and ask questions.

Meanwhile, the commission unanimously approved the tentative new county fiscal 2003 budget, which totals $21,541,432.

Of that, $1,886,096 is earmarked to Blaine Manor, of which $1,381,061 will be recovered in revenues from occupant payments, insurance and Medicare. The balance ĺ $505,035 ĺ will come from tax funds.

The tentative budget foresees no increase in taxes.

The total assessed value of Blaine County property is pegged at $6.4 billion, down some $100 million from last year.



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