Q May a county owned nursing home which receives funds through Medicaid and/or Medicare financially assist a county in the layout and construction of walking and jogging trails or sidewalks in the county which are not located on nursing home premises?

A While the Attorney General is unable to opine on issues of federal law, county funds could be spent as described. Section 41-13-38(2) states, “The board of trustees may provide financial assistance or provide grants to nonprofit healthcare provider groups and other recognized nonprofit entities and charities where it is determined by the board that such action will benefit the health or welfare of the citizens of the service area.” The county, as a nonprofit, would be a permissible recipient for a grant from the nursing home board of trustees, and prior opinion have found the construction of walking and jogging tracks is a legitimate exercise of authority pursuant to Section 41-13-38(2). Provided that the nursing home board of trustees makes the requisite factual determination that the financial assistance or grant to help assist with the cost of the layout and construction of walking and jogging trails and/or sidewalks “will benefit the health or welfare of the citizens of the service area,” such an expenditure is authorized. Such determination should be spread upon the minutes of board of trustees and duly adopted by resolution each time a grant or contribution of financial assistance is proposed. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Snell, March 16, 2010)