Tomahawk Leader, Merrill Foto News offering community survey on Pine Crest Nursing Home
Only Lincoln County residents eligible
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
LINCOLN COUNTY – In an effort to gather public opinion on Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill, the Tomahawk Leader and the Merrill Foto News are offering a community survey for Lincoln County residents.
The creation of the survey follows the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors’ rejection of a resolution that would have allowed voters to decide whether or not they want to financially support operations and maintenance at Pine Crest, which is owned by Lincoln County and has experienced millions in financial losses in recent years.
The resolution, which sought to place a binding referendum on 2024 Spring Election ballots, failed by a 13-9 vote during the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Under the proposed referendum, if it had made it onto ballots next April and had been approved by voters, Lincoln County would have been allowed to exceed levy limits by $3 million per year for ten years to fund Pine Crest operations and maintenance.
The rejection of the resolution came about three months after the board approved a resolution directing the county’s Administrative and Legislative (A&L) Committee to begin the process of securing the services of a broker to put Pine Crest up for sale.
In June, the A&L Committee voted to recommend Marcus & Millichap as the broker to represent Lincoln County in the event the board moves forward with selling the county-owned facility.
The sale of Pine Crest was one of several options presented to the board by an ad hoc committee that was established in June 2022 and tasked with coming up with actions Lincoln County could take regarding the facility’s future.
In a May letter to Pine Crest residents, District 9 Supervisor and Board Chair Don Friske said the board had narrowed its options down to either drafting a referendum question asking Lincoln County taxpayers to support Pine Crest operations and maintenance or exploring the sale of the facility to a privately-owned, skilled nursing home care provider.
With the proposed referendum resolution’s failure, Pine Crest’s future remains uncertain.
Pine Crest did not appear on the agenda for the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Only Lincoln County residents are eligible to take the survey, which will be available until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.
To take the survey, visit www.tinyurl.com/397r8dvf or https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfqaFDK7nIpf-dFKuq1tL-K0SXaog8y4tm1y5MGe1vJ0PtviQ/viewform.
Survey results will be published in future issues of the Leader and Foto News.