Executive bemoans lack of action

Nursing home discussion creeps forwards as word of second bidder emerges

— “One thing I realized earlier on is that we’re not the experts in everything and we needed someone who was an expert with nursing home contracts,” McCoy said, adding he has been working with Nixon Peabody since November.

McCoy said the legislature’s vote to hire its own consultant is just another way to delay a decision on the nursing home. He said he has not decided whether to veto the resolution or not.

Further complicating matters is the possibility of another bidder for the nursing home. Last month, McCoy was informed a Rockland County resident, Bent Philipson, was interested in buying the nursing home. McCoy said he was unable to look into the bid due to his negotiations with USG, and pursuing any offer “would have been a breach in contract.”

He added, however, that he is aware the bidder has bought a much larger facility in Syracuse for about $2 to $3 million, far less than what McCoy argues the county would save through a lease to USG.

“The legislature is having a hard time wrapping the idea around having a partnership and leasing it. Imagine how it would be if I said we were gonna sell it,” McCoy said.

By selling the nursing home, McCoy said, the county would no longer have any say.

“If you sell it, you’re out,” he said.

McCoy stressed that he does not want to consider closing the 250-bed facility, but the legislature’s “inaction/inability to not wrap their arms around this is costing the taxpayers and it is upsetting to the seniors at the nursing home.”

Minority Republicans in the County Legislature also sent out a statement on Monday, Feb. 11, expressing concerns on the delays.

“Meeting after meeting has been held for the purpose of answering questions about this lease and study after study completed. Will we keep stalling for a legislative vote until the County is forced to close our nursing home?” Minority Leader Christine Benedict said in the statement. “Such tactics are not justified, and they put the care of our elderly at risk.”

“I’m more open to new ideas, but the legislature has to be there, has to be willing to accept it’s a different era, different time. We have to do things differently,” McCoy said. “This is the best solution to the problem of protecting our seniors and taxpayers and accepting responsibility.”

The lawmakers at their Feb. 11 meeting approved of a second resolution by a vote of 24-12 requiring the county to include selling all of the nursing home equipment in the lease.

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