The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 2, 2012

Vote 'Yes' on referendums


DANVILLE — Vermilion County will see two questions on Tuesday’s ballot regarding issues before the county board. The referenda give voters a direct voice in the decisions.

The first and most important question asks voters to give the Vermilion County Board permission to sell Vermilion Manor Nursing home, if its members decide that’s the best course.

Voting “Yes” doesn’t mean county board members must sell the nursing home. It only gives them the option.

Vermilion Manor faces financial problems, largely brought on by the state’s inability to pay its bills on time. Residents who receive state aid can’t just be put out on the street when the money doesn’t show up. So the county incurs those costs.

Without the flexibility of possibly selling the 200-plus bed facility, county board members could face a situation where their only choice could be to close the nursing home to prevent running a large debt for taxpayers.

Depending on the voting results, county board members intend to start looking at all the options involving the nursing home. Giving them the ability to sell the facility if necessary makes the most sense.

Also on the ballot will be a question regarding a plan for Integrys to act as the county’s electricity supplier.

The company purchases electricity in bulk, basically, at a lower cost and would then pass the savings along to county residents.

County government also would receive revenue, which officials plan to use to pay for courthouse repairs.

Residents can decide not to participate in the plan.

Again, a “Yes” vote should serve the county well.