Photo by George Lauby
Pawnee Hotel lobby, Dec. 22
Temperatures are cool at times inside the Hotel Pawnee Assisted Living Facility in North Platte as new heaters are being installed. The 83-year-old hotel is heated by two boilers that send hot water heat through the building. One boiler quit working last spring and the other one has been operating intermittently.
Electric baseboard heaters are being installed in rooms. Space heaters are also used in some rooms. Heaters will be installed in the lobby, executive director Sandy Schade said Dec. 22.
The temperature was comfortable in the rooms Saturday, according to a random check on two separate floors.
The Pawnee is one of the few places in central and western Nebraska devoted to providing care to people with behavioral and/or emotional disabilities that have extremely low incomes, including those who are solely supported by Medicaid.
Schade refused to talk to the Bulletin, but through text messages said the situation is improving.
The hotel is currently home to about 50 residents. Each of them pays about $1,050 a month for room and meals.
Schade has said the financial challenges are significant.
During the summer, the hotel was placed on probation by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The board was ordered to hire a consultant to oversee the operation and make monthly reports to HHS for one year.