Orange County Executive Edward Diana is expected to not fund the Valley View nursing home when he unveils his proposed county 2013 budget later today (Friday), and that has the potential of bankrupting the county, according to County Legislator Patrick Berardinelli, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
If the county ultimately decides to shut the facility down, it would have to fund it for the many months it continues to operate until every resident is placed in new care. State law would also require that if the county decides to sell the facilities, it would also have to fund it until the transfer is made. Both scenarios would require State Health Department approval.
Berardinelli, a Republican, said either way, the county would have to dip into its reserves to cover the costs and that could be a near fatal blow to the county’s finances.
“We have a triple-A. Once our bond rating gets lowered, and I am sure it will happen if this goes through where we use up our surplus, then the rate of money that we have to borrow and what we are going to have to pay for that money is going to go up and we’re right back in a pickle,” he said.
Estimates of how much the county would have to subsidize the nursing home next year range from $5 million to $20 million. Berardinelli favors selling the facility.