The Orange County Legislature has voted against a proposal for the retention of the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Center as a county owned and operated facility for the next two years. It would have included the hiring of a nursing home administrator to run it.
“The people in Orange County want this facility kept for the county,” said Republican County Legislator Michael Anagnostakis. The legislature deliberated for almost an hour on the nursing home’s future.
Democrat Legislator Roxanne Donnery pleaded to her fellow legislators before the vote. -- “Let’s put heart and soul into it, put down the politics and try it. Give it our best shot.”
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Patrick Berardinelli, a Republican, supports selling the facility.
“Where do we go with where does the money come from when we run out of money?", Berardinelli asked. "There is only one place. Raise taxes,”
The proposal to retain ownership of Valley View went down by one vote, 11-10.
A potential new sewer treatment plant in Chester was also a hot topic. The county legislators asked for $1 million last week to study the possibility. The treatment plant would help ease the stress on the Harriman plant.
Village of Chester Mayor Phil Valastro expressed his disappointment at the public commentary period of the meeting. Valastro said he was not properly informed of the million dollar study and had to learn about it from a news report.
The mayor asked the legislature to either turn down the study or table it so that the Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Facilities and Services, Peter Hammond, can explain the project in detail.
Town of Chester Supervisor Stephan Neuhaus echoed Valastro’s statements saying that he first heard of the study in the media. “Unless you have a million dollars of somebody else’s money but the taxpayers of Orange County to burn, it would be insane to vote yes on this,” said Neuhaus.
After the public comment period, the legislature chose not to vote on the study and instead sent it back to Joint Physical Services and Ways and Means Committees for further discussion.