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Nursing home deal tabled

County comptroller urges legislature to turn over control

— The Albany County Legislature tabled a deal to give control of the county-run nursing home to a private company at a Monday, May 13, meeting, after hearing a presentation from County Comptroller Mike Conners urging action.

Conners’ annual presentation on the fiscal condition of the county focused primarily on the nursing home. He stressed how the nursing home has been losing money and said if a decision on the home were not made by June, he would not certify payroll for the facility.

“I think there is a middle ground that will result in what we all want,” Conners said.

The legislature was slated to vote on Monday on a 10-year lease agreement with Upstate Services Group. County Executive Dan McCoy has repeatedly said the deal would save taxpayers more than $100 million.

Conners did not endorse that plan, but instead suggested the county should pursue formation of a local development corporation to take over the nursing home. Saratoga County took that approach with its Maplewood Manor. If that doesn’t work, Conners said the county should sell the facility.

“Based on the history and where you’re going right now, I don’t think the county has demonstrated it can run the nursing home,” he said.

But to some legislators, a middle ground is still a hazy concept.

“Conners has said what we’ve all been saying, that Albany County has done a horrific job at running the nursing home. So we need to do something. He has been touting an LDC for a long time,” said Legislator Richard Mendick, who represents the Selkirk area. “We’ve thrown all the options on the table. It’s a matter of picking and choosing.”

With the vote on the USG deal delayed another month, no progress was made on the future of the nursing home Monday.

“What we’re seeing is just continued delay,” Deputy County Executive Christine Quinn said after the meeting. “It’s devastating to the residents and to the taxpayers in the county.”

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