Gallatin County voters are seeing a mill levy question on the ballot asking for $3.9 million to help fund the Gallatin Rest Home, which has not seen an upgrade since the late 90s. The levy will also help pay for the staff which helps take care of around 30 residents who call this place home.
“This is my home. I have been here for four years, and I think about if they close it I'll be one of those people living on the streets,” says Joyce Santos, Gallatin Rest Home resident.
Santos finds herself happy living at the Gallatin County rest home, but she’s no stranger to the issues that face it.
“They take very good care of us. They have CNAs, we have nurses, we have a little bit of everything,” says Santos.
Staffing shortages have led the rest home to contract staff from across the country to come work here.
“At this point, because it is so difficult to hire, we have a lot of contract staff,” says Darcel Vaughn, Gallatin Rest Home administrator.
Part of the levy is planned to pay staff, and Vaughn says renovations need to be done to the building to make it comfortable for the residents to live in.
“There’s a lot that needs to be done to a building as old as this one to keep it in shape and to keep it comfortable for our residents,” says Vaughn. “Windows so that it’s not drafty during the winter.
Air Conditioning and flooring are top of mind for safety. Now residents and staff wait for results of the election that could decide the fate of the Gallatin Rest Home.
“It’s been the same issues that everyone else has except we can’t shorten our hours or have days where we close down we have to be open 24/7,” says Vaughn.
Vaughn says the budget is not done but early indications are that 75 percent of the money would be used for daily operations like staffing and 25 percent for capital outlay improvements.
If voters do approve this measure, the Rest Home could see the money roll in next fiscal year.