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News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, January 12, 2023 and The Weekly Packet, January 12, 2023
INH applies to reopen
Questions remain for town funding

by Leslie Landrigan

The Island Nursing Home board delivered its application for a conditional license on January 9, and the Department of Health and Human Services said it will respond before the current license expires on February 23, according to a press release.

Once the state grants a conditional license, it will allow the INH board to hire an administrator and staff, the release said.

INH hopes to reopen as a 32-bed residential care facility on July 1, 2023.

But INH missed the filing deadline to request $100,000 each from Stonington and Deer Isle, according to town officials.

The INH board is trying to raise $3 million to cover an anticipated half-million-dollar operating loss for the first few years.

“We’ve made a ton of progress, and if our seven towns and the state respond with the same enthusiasm that our year-round residents have shown, we should be able to get this done,” said INH President Leon Weed.

The INH board has received pledges of more than $275,000, according to the press release.

Town funding

The INH board has said it plans to ask each of the seven towns for subsidies of $100,000 this year. Deer Isle and Stonington both required INH to submit petitions with signatures in order for the request to appear on the town meeting warrant.

The deadline was 60 days before their March 6 town meetings. In Stonington, that date was January 5. But in Deer Isle, the deadline was a day later because of a miscommunication, according to Town Manager Jim Fisher.

At the close of business on January 5, INH had not submitted a petition to Stonington, according to town officials. Nor had INH submitted a petition to Deer Isle by the close of business on January 6, Fisher said.

INH Treasurer Skip Greenlaw wasn’t aware that Stonington had a deadline and he will be reaching out to the town, INH spokesman Dan Cashman said in a phone interview.

Similarly, said Cashman, Greenlaw was told Deer Isle needed the petition by January 6, but he was not told the clerk leaves at noon. Greenlaw left the petition at Deer Isle town offices at 2:15 p.m. on January 6, Cashman said.

“He’s going to reach out to them, too,” Cashman said.

Fisher said it’s up to the selectmen to decide whether to accept the petition. The select board has indicated its reluctance to subsidize the nursing home in the past.

Greenlaw has also delivered requests for $100,000 to Brooklin and Brooksville and has yet to deliver them to Blue Hill, Sedgwick or Isle au Haut, Cashman said.