By Rachael Huether
Before Rushville residents cast their votes on Proposition 1 November 6, Tom Serres, Parkview Lodge Administrator, wants to stress a simple fact: your tax dollars have not, and will not, be squandered. “If we could get this for another four years, we would be looking really well. We are looking well now. But we could start paying help what they deserve to be paid, and make updates to the building,” Serres said.
Hannah Graham, Director of Social Services & Activities at Parkview Lodge, added “Those updates are contributing directly to the quality of life for our residents, and for me, that’s at the forefront. When something goes awry, when something needs worked on, or something needs replaced, we need to be able to meet that need.”
“For years, Bill had kept this thing running with rubber bands and baling wire, and now we can actually get things fixed,” Serres stated.
“In a setting like this, to upkeep this infrastructure, is directly returning to the community. It’s our parents, and siblings, and aunts, and uncles, and eventually ourselves that this is serving and benefiting, and to maintain it and keep it in Rushville, I think that’s worth everything in the world,” Graham stated passionately.
Tom is happy to report that the facility is now starting to get more local residents, and they are currently full with a waiting list. Five years ago, the facility required 15 residents to break even on costs, and they only had eight residents. Their facility had also accumulated $90,000 in debt to help cover operation costs. The 26 bed facility is now full, thanks in large part to the financial stability provided by the additional tax paid by Rushville residents. “The folks who are contributing to this tax are not necessarily going to feel a brunt of it, but it makes a huge difference to us. Because of the size of the facility, we are still small enough that a little bit makes a big difference,” Graham stated.
Tom said that while the tax dollars equate to roughly one resident per month, there is still work to be done. Parkview Lodge is in the process of obtaining a new walk-in whirlpool tub for the residents with a loan from the City of Rushville, but a new vehicle to transport residents is needed, and the facility is in need of updating. While their debt has greatly diminished, there is still a need to get that paid off. “We aren’t blowing money; it is an investment. Maybe one day they are going to be here, and they’ll want to come into a nice building.”
In 2014, the vote to approve the sales tax increase to assist the Parkview Lodge Assisted Living Center was passed 160 to 57. Serres and Graham are hopeful to see the same result.
“The biggest thing about passing this for another four years would just be to put everyone on really solid ground. We could wipe all that debt and be ready to rock and roll,” Graham concluded.