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Albany County executive to draft long-term health care plan

The resolution passed Monday does not force the County Executive to commit to building a new nursing home, but does obligate him to coming up with a plan.

When asked if building a new nursing home will be part of that plan, Mary Duryea, director of communications for Breslin, said, "Right now, that's not known. We should develop a plan for long-term care in Albany County. Right now, we're not sure if that includes building a new nursing home. We're going to be looking at all the options."

But the only option those who have relatives in the nursing home now want to see is a new nursing home built.

June Maniscalco, a family council member, spoke at the legislature's meeting about the PACE program.

"The PACE program and the long-term care don't go far enough," she said, stressing the importance of a nursing home being built.

Renee Barchitta, the daughter of a nursing home resident, was so pleased that the issue was being pushed by the legislature, that she baked cookies and brownies for all of the members to show her appreciation.

"Albany County legislators have a heart," she said. "You really have a heart."

Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners also commented during the public comment session of the meeting, saying that the county not only needs a nursing home, but that the county should have better management of that nursing home, attributing the loss of thousands of taxpayer dollars on the nursing home to poor management.

"It's a crisis of the leadership," he said.

As of last Thursday, Conners said, the nursing home was only operating at about 55 percent of its capacity, costing taxpayers money while the resource they are paying for is not being used to its full potential.

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