"The major problem is that the building of a county nursing home will take away from the money that we need for community based resources," said Timmins. From a medical standpoint, Timmins said that the difference between institutionalized care and home-based care is the one-on-one care.
"What happens is that at home, you get individualized care," he said. "Patients do better when you adapt the care to their circumstances."
Dawson said that the reason he did not support the amendment was because he does not think the county will be able to handle the fiscal responsibility without assistance from the state or federal government, and because he does not think the county has been managing the nursing home fiscally well.
"I don't think we've done a very good job of running a nursing home. Fiscally, we've been hemorrhaging for years and it's not just a question of our management," he said.
Dawson said he thinks the county's money would be better spent on strengthening home-based care and programs for the caregivers that administer that care. He also said he could not approve a new nursing home not knowing where the money to fund the facility would be coming from.
"I didn't get up and speak because I respect where [my colleagues] are coming from. I've been thinking about this for a very long time," he said. "My colleagues have very big hearts, I just hope that they have very big wallets to go with them."
The legislators who introduced the amendment are not certain how much money would be needed for the new nursing facility, and, according to Majority Leader Frank Commisso, D-Albany, that amount could not be known until the county executive meets with experts to discuss plans and designs, as well as the costs of running such a facility.