Letters to the Editor: Jan. 10, 2024

Letters to the Editor published in the Jan. 10, 2024 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.

Who can honestly say that Lincoln County can’t afford Pine Crest?

Ryan Hanson, Pine Crest Administrator (539-2532), told me he wouldn’t express his opinions, but he would provide me with facts. That’s what I wanted. Here’s what Ryan told me.

There are about 95 employees at Pine Crest, over 90% of whom live in Lincoln County.

The annual operating budget for Pine Crest is in the 12-13 million dollar range. Revenue comes from Medicaid, insurance and Medicare, supplemental payments from the state (a complicated formula), and the tax levy.

The tax levy is $440,000.00 and constitutes less than 1/20 of total revenue.

Wages for employees take up over half of the annual budget (Ryan didn’t have an exact figure), but it’s at least 6 million dollars.

Medicaid residents at Pine Crest constitute around 75% of total residents. Medicaid traditionally pays the least, usually under the actual cost of care, which is why private nursing facilities keep Medicaid residents down to 10-15%. (Over 90% of Pine Crest residents are from Lincoln County.)

North Central Health Care, which manages Pine Crest, pays the $650,000.00 annual debt on Pine Crest.

To sum up: For $440,000.00 annual tax levy, Lincoln County gets a nursing home with an annual budget exceeding 12 million, over half of which budget pays wages for nearly 100 employees, almost all of whom live (and spend) in Lincoln County. In addition, NCHC pays the $650,000.00 annual debt.

Who can honestly say that Lincoln County can’t afford Pine Crest?

Paul Gilk


Let the states take over wolf management

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources is having a tough time managing the white-tailed deer population because there are too many predators, especially the gray wolf.

Hunters need to find practical solutions to protect the state’s hunting traditions and economy. That’s why I support Congressman Tom Tiffany’s efforts to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list.

Now that the gray wolf population has recovered, it’s time to recognize this success and let the states take over wolf management.

Riley Anderson


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