Republican James Buhrmaster voices opposition to the new Glendale Nursing Home project before the Schenectady County Legislature voted to approve awarding bids on Monday, May 21.
Photo by John Purcell.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY Construction plans for the new Glendale Nursing Home are set in concrete as legislators approved the award of 15 bids for the project.
The Schenectady County Legislature on Monday, May 21, during a special meeting approved nearly $34.66 million in contracts for the construction of the new 200-bed facility. The 12 Democratic legislators in attendance voted in support, with James Buhrmaster, R-Glenville, and Holly Vellano, C-Rotterdam, voting against approving the bids. A groundbreaking is expected next month.
County Facilities Engineer Donald Scheuer also gave an updated presentation on the home (view the presentation by clicking the link to the left). The facility would include five resident neighborhoods with three household units each. Each neighborhood would also have its own dining area. There would be 170 single rooms and 15 semi-private rooms.
Minority Leader Buhrmaster said the nursing home has been a burden on taxpayers and over the last 10 years has lost more than $70 million. He said the county’s audit on the facility revealed in 2009 the home lost $11.9 million and in 2010 it lost $13.8 million. The nursing home relies on Medicaid reimbursements that frequently do not sum up to the amount of expenses.
“The public needs to know we have been losing money big time with the nursing businesses here in Schenectady County,” he said. “I’m extremely concerned, as I have been from the start, of Schenectady County being in the nursing home business.”
Glendale Subcommittee Co-Chairman Brian Gordon, D-Niskayuna, argued the need for the county nursing home is strong. Gordon said the facility often is at 98 percent capacity. He also said the 200 bed number is “deceiving” since the facility would serve more people annually than the number of beds.
“The effect of the nursing facility is much more than just 200 beds and it shouldn’t really be referred to in that sense,” he said.