DUBUQUE – Sunnycrest Manor’s $2.8 million budget will likely be approved by the City Council on March 13, according to County Supervisor Daryl Klein. However, the large budget is still believed to be costing the county too much money. Klein believes a possible solution to the problem would be to find an outside company to run the facility.
Sunnycrest Manor cares for elderly and mentally ill patients. It’s a Title 19 facility, so what the residents don’t pay for, the city picks up the rest.
The employees of Sunnycrest Manor realize that the facility costs a lot to maintain.
Ward Clerk Jackie Bamberg is in charge of ordering supplies for the nurses, so she deals firsthand with costs.
Working there for 30 years now, Bamberg has really made a connection to the residents.
She said, “Each and every one of them are like brother, sister, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and that’s what makes me stay.”
She says she doesn’t know too much about what would happen if Sunnycrest were to be privatized, except what she’s heard from other people who work in privately-run facilities.
“I think staffing is lower in some of these places, I’m not too sure that they pay what a CNA should make nowadays,” she said.
For Klein, considering and searching for companies who could run Sunnycrest for less money should be done sooner, rather than later.
He said, “By waiting, if there is somebody out there they might not be willing to do that six months or a year form now. But we don’t know because we aren’t willing to ask the question.”
Klein cannot research companies without the majority of the board’s approval, which he doesn’t have at the moment.
He adds that finding a company that wouldn’t jeopardize the care that the residents currently receive would be a top priority for him.
Sunnycrest’s budget is likely secured for the 2018 fiscal year, and Bamberg hopes it will be funded for many more years to come.
“I understand that it cost a lot to run Sunnycrest Manor, but I really truly believe that it is something that we need in Dubuque County and I would like to see it continue,” she stated.
Allison is a senior at Loras College and is a Dubuque native. She's the Producer of LCTV News, along with Payton Van Vors, as well as an anchor and reporter. This past summer, Allison had an internship with KCRG in Dubuque, and she's continuing to work for them this Fall. Allison reports because she loves keeping her community informed on issues and events that matter to them.