July 17, 2008
Ozaukee Could Build Assisted-Living Center
By DAN BENSON
Port Washington -- In an ongoing attempt to financially support the Ozaukee County-owned Lasata Care Center nursing home, county officials have introduced a $12.74 million proposal to build an assisted-living facility and remodel the existing care center on the Lasata campus in Cedarburg.
In a presentation to the County Board on Wednesday, consultants and members of the county Aging and Long Term Care Committee explained that a new 60-unit assisted-living home would generate enough revenue to help the county nursing home continue operating.
Along with the care center and Lasata Heights, the county's 60- unit independent-living facility, the assisted-living center would provide a "continuum of care" for low- to moderate-income residents not currently served by the private sector, Supervisor Kathy Geracie and others said.
Geracie is chairwoman of the Aging and Long Term Care Committee.
Under the plan, the assisted-living center, which would be built behind and to the west of Lasata Heights, would cost about $10.19 million.
Another $2.55 million would be spent remodeling the care center and reducing the number of beds there from 201 to about 160.
The proposal suggests the project be paid for through a 20-year bond issue.
The Lasata campus is on Wauwatosa Road just south of Bridge Road.
Lasata Care Center Administrator Ralph Luedtke told supervisors that it costs the county about $50 a day for each Lasata patient covered under Medicaid because state and federal reimbursements don't match the increased costs.
Some supervisors suggested that the county would be competing with the private sector if it built an assisted-living facility.
Geracie, however, said studies show that the income range targeted by the proposed county facility is neglected by the marketplace and the county would be able to serve more senior citizens under the proposal.
"The whole reason for doing this is to meet a need that's not being filled," she said.
Supervisors did not vote on the proposal Wednesday.
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