Craighead County Finance Committee seeks answers to nursing home ownership

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 400 views 

The Craighead County Finance Committee asked possibly a $10 million question Monday night as to the operation of Craighead Nursing Center and who owns the property.

Finance Committee chairman Josh Longmire, R-Jonesboro, said he and other county officials have received questions in recent weeks about the nursing home on Southwest Drive.

The nursing home has a five-member board of directors that runs the operations, with a director handling day to day operations, administrative assistant Tony Thomas said. Committee member Garry Meadows, R-Jonesboro asked the director or the board to appear at the court’s next meeting to learn more about the facility. Justice Barbara Weinstock, I-Jonesboro, said the nursing home has provided a service to people in need.

“Everybody I have talked to has said they have done such a good job,” Weinstock said.

Longmire said the question is not whether or not the center does a good job but whether the center’s operations are transparent.

“It could be a $10 million business,” Longmire said. “But, we don’t know what they bring in.”

Longmire also asked for a detailed list of all county properties, saying he has requested information for the past two years.

“I have not seen a list as long as I have been on the court,” Longmire said.

“There is no trace of revenue or expenses for the nursing home,” Longmire said, noting he would like to see a lease agreement drawn up. “Also, if we own it, we are competing against private industry.”

Also, Craighead County Treasurer Terry McNatt said sales tax revenue went up 4.9% in January, keeping pace with current numbers. McNatt said officials are also looking for ways to invest money from the county’s road department revenues.

The county has roughly $3.8 million in road funds, up from the $3.4 million from the same time in 2015, McNatt said.

Justices also received a report on the amount of delinquent taxes owed to the county. As of Monday, there was $259,567 collected in delinquent taxes for 2015 with $486,407 collected from 2008-2014, Collector Marsha Phillips said. Phillips’ office has received criticism in recent months on the issue. However, supporters have said she has worked to recoup the money owed to the count.