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Future of Merrill nursing home under discussion

Pine Crest Nursing Home
WAOW Television
Pine Crest Nursing Home

The Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill is home to many, but also has plenty of needs from staffing to building improvements.

Lincoln County, who now owns the building since 2020, hopes they can save it as officials said that its residents are at the top of mind.

The county held a meeting Tuesday night to go through potential options, and also hear from the public.

"We're talking about service for all our people," said Judy Waller, a Lincoln County resident.

Dozens of folks came together in the hopes of saving the building.

"Those folks need to be notified that this is a possibility of what's going to happen," said Waller.

Because of staffing shortages, maintenance, and other circumstances, the nursing home averages about 85 residents compared to their 120 beds.

Because Lincoln County owns Pine Crest, they get final say on what's done.

"The nursing home is a county nursing home," said Gary Olsen, Executive Director for North Central Health Care who manages the home. "I think they were looking at it different."

Many options were discussed including creating a daycare for employees and the community, providing assisted living, selling or leasing parts of the building, downsizing, or even getting rid of it altogether, something the community does not want.

"It's an institution that has served people," said Kevin Stevenson, resident in Lincoln County. "It's helped find jobs, it's become a family for a lot of people who come to Pine Crest."

The county and public know they're on the clock to make a decision, but decided that more research is needed to find the best possible solution.

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