According to an article in today's Quad City Times, the dire situation that is Hope Creek Care Center will only get worse in 2019. The headline says it all - "Hope Creek to run out of credit by December".
Sarah Hayden reports that Hope Creek will need to pay over $1.5 million this year for bond interest payments. The bulk of that amount - $1.3 million - is due in December.
During last night's board meeting, Rock Island County Treasurer Louisa Ewert told board members "Right now we have enough to borrow to make the June interest payment," Ewert said. "There is a possibility on Dec. 1 that we are not going to be able to make that entire bond payment. That's when the bottom could potentially, totally drop out. We would be out of credit completely."
Rock Island County Auditor April Palmer also reported that Hope Creek is currently $4.6 million in debt. And that debt will likely get worse - MUCH worse - in 2019 since Hope Creek's expenses exceed its budget by $120,000 per month.
"If you multiply $120,000 by 12 months, you get $1.4 million in the negative," Ewert reported.
Unsure how to proceed, the board also discussed hiring a consulting firm to provide guidance at a cost of $29,000.
Here is some free guidance that will save the county $29,000 and millions more. Sell the courthouse to one of the bidders, use the money to pay off the Hope Creek debt, and then let someone else manage Hope Creek even if you just give them the facility. And do it NOW before the bottom totally drops out, leaving Rock Island County taxpayers on the hook for MORE money.