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Albany County leg passes nursing home amendment

"Until we get the professionals-which is the next step, the expertise, and until we get the design of what we're going to build precisely, we can't put a price on it," he said.

Commisso said that he did assume the money could come out of the county's $68 million capital projects fund, but Mary Duryea, spokeswoman for the county executive, said that funding the operation of the nursing home would not be able to be paid from that fund.

"In terms of the actual construction of the nursing home, the construction we would get state reimbursement for," she said. "The actual cost is the operation of the facility year to year and that money wouldn't be able to come out of the capital fund."

The county did, at one point, have two operating nursing facilities at one time, but as per the Berger Commission's recommendations, the Ann Lee Home was forced to close.

Commisso said it would be nearly impossible to renovate the Ann Lee Home, which currently is not being used as a nursing facility, into the new nursing facility without spending more money than to build new.

"That building is very old. It's got walls that are probably 20 inches think before you go through them with jackhammers," he said. It's much cleaner to build new and secondly, it would not meet what we had discussed for the past several months." One of the features the Ann Lee Home would not include that has been part of the discussion is private bathrooms for each of the rooms.

Duryea said the amendment would most likely reach the county executive's desk sometime this week. She also said he does have the power to veto the resolution, and that the county executive has not yet made a decision on the resolution but would be looking it over very carefully.

If the county executive does decide to go forward with plans for a new facility, Commisso projected the project would not begin construction until a year from now at the earliest.

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