County Exec moves to privatize Albany County Nursing Home

Feb 26, 2013

Some call it Albany County's "never-ending story" - the battle that pits the County Executive against the County Legislature. 

While other New York counties have sold or privatized their nursing homes.  Albany County's Nursing Home and what to do about it has just about everyone frustrated. It's been the topic of debate - argued about for 23 years or more – with no resolution in sight.

County Executive Dan McCoy is waiting for the County Legislature to approve a $400,000 per year lease agreement with Upstate Service Group, which would take over the facility, with no loss of jobs and no changes in structure that would impact residents.

McCoy says he put four options on the table about a year ago when he first took office, but only got one bid back to manage the home. He notes that every month of delay is a million dollars in losses to the county as it struggles to keep the facility open.

McCoy says he has appealed to lawmakers for help. He says many legislators claim they can "turn the Nursing Home around" but can’t back up their words.

The lease with Upstate needs to be approved by the county legislature in order to obtain a certificate of need from the State Health Department and transfer the facility in July, when current funding runs out.

McCoy explains that if legislators can't make a decision, or feel that raising taxes is the answer, they need to put the issue before the voters in November.

Shawn Morse became legislative chairman when McCoy was elected County Executive. He has been an active voice in favor of keeping the Nursing Home  "county-run".

Morse thinks the issue will eventually "come to a head" - McCoy stands pat in his belief that leasing the home is in the best interests of all. Morse says legislators are "doing their dilligence" to go over every document and "continue to have dialogue" about the issue.