Colonie residents push for nursing home

The deal in which Albany County bought the portion of Heritage Park owned by the Town of Colonie is settled, and while county legislators say they have not yet decided what they will do with their purchase, residents say a proposal to relocate the county nursing home to the park should be revisited.

The sale brought $2.7 million to the Town of Colonie, a town that was determined to have a $19.4 million deficit, according to its most recent audit.

The proposal to move the Albany County Nursing Home to Heritage Park was originally rejected by Albany County Executive Michael Breslin. The nursing home is currently located near the park but not in it.

According to Kerri Battle, the director of communications for the county executive, moving the nursing home to the park was considered at one point, but one of the main reasons the plan was passed over was the lack of adequate transportation routes for visitors and employees to and from that location.

The county executive feels that a nursing home that is closer to transportation and where people live would be more beneficial to families and employees, she said.

Colonie resident Renee Barchitta, whose mother is a resident of Albany County Nursing Home, said the transportation route that currently operates to and from Heritage Park would suffice if the nursing home was there.

As a visitor, Barchitta said, the location of a new nursing home is key to the safety of residents and visitors.

"We really don't like the idea of it being in the city. For example, there's a lot of people in their 70s and 80s who go visit their family members. For them to drive into the city; it's not as safe," she said.

Barchitta said moving the nursing home to the park would prevent visitors having trouble parking on city streets.

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