Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Committee favors extending tax abatement for Addison Point

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Chesterton Tax Abatement Advisory Committee is recommending the renewal of the Addison Point Health & Rehabilitation Center’s tax abatement.

At their meeting Wednesday, members voted unanimously to endorse the abatement’s renewal, after finding Addison Pointe to be in substantial compliance with its commitment, when legal and possible, to preferentially hire Chesterton residents, the chief condition placed on the 10-year abatement when the Town Council granted it in 2010.

The abatement--scheduled at 40 percent in 2017--is entering its seventh year.

According to Kyle Persinger, the attorney for Addison Pointe’s new owner--Chesterton Health Care Properties LLC--as of Wednesday the facility was employing a full-time staff of 135, 15 more than the 120 which Addison Pointe committed to when it originally filed for the abatement in 2010.

The facility’s total payroll in 2016: $3.9 million, roughly $700,000 more than the $3.2 million it committed to.

Persinger did acknowledge that Addison Pointe’s turnover rate is unusually high. In 2016 alone, he said, the facility made 141 hires. The breakdown on those hires: 411 applications received, 68 of them from Chesterton residents; 141 hired, 28 of them Chesterton residents.

“Given the constant recruitment for employees, a resident of Chesterton was hired when such resident was qualified to fulfill the staffing requirements of the facility,” Persinger noted in a memo to the committee. “Examples of a resident not qualifying are poor work history, references, and/or a failed drug test.”

The turnover rate, as Addison Pointe Administrator Joe Flacke told the committee, is an industry-wide problem. “There just aren’t enough people in health care to fill the buildings,” he said. “It’s been a tough battle, a tough battle for all the long-term care facilities in the area.”

Flacke added that, with facilities often offering signing bonuses to new employees--some as high as $2,000--many hires are happy to pocket the bonus, work a few months, then leave to take a bonus elsewhere.

Addison Pointe, however, has recently created a training program for certified nurse assistants, in the hope of home-growing its own supply of CNAs, Flacke said.

Meanwhile, Addison Pointe is aggressively advertising for new staff and in particular is always on the lookout for Chesterton residents. “We prefer Chesterton residents,” Flacke said, as too many hires out of Lake County end up leaving, or being let go, after finding the commute to Chesterton too long and hard, especially in the winter.

Addison Pointe regularly advertises, among other places, in the Chesterton Tribune, and by special arrangement with the town on Chesterton’s municipal website, www.chestertonin.org

The Town Council is scheduled to discuss the tax abatement’s renewal at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Monday, April 10.

 

 

Posted 4/7/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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