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EXCLUSIVE: Dem proposes senior complex on Tobin site

Gross' idea is to be able to have private agencies run the assisted living and senior independent living center. The idea is to use the complex to help pay for the county-run nursing home.

"The whole concept of having a developer come in and lease it back, is another way of getting around the taxpayer, looking at the bottom line expenses," said Benedict.

According to Benedict, that has been a plan all along; county Democrats just decided to let Gross run with it as he approaches a tight race against Hoblock.

This isn't the first time the two have squared off; the first being after a December 2006 court decision ordering recounts of county ballots in an April 2004 election. Hoblock challenged 40 absentee ballots in the election. After a federal judge ordered the ballots to be counted, Hoblock won the seat by four votes.

"I wish he brought this to the legislature, the nursing home committee -- not a newspaper. That doesn't help," said Hoblock.

Both Democrats and Republicans have been working diligently to solve the county nursing home woes, said Hoblock. A number of locations have been looked at, he said, but before the complex is could be built at the Tobin site, there are logistics that need to be worked out.

Gross said he has it all figured out.

It's more than just tearing down a building and building a new nursing home, he said. The site is easily accessed by Capital District Transit Authority bus routes as well as Interstate 90, making it easier for potential residents and their families, Gross said.

He was expected to make an announcement about his nursing home plan at a Wednesday, Oct. 31, press conference.

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