The decision last year to privatize the Essex County-owned Horace Nye Nursing Home wasn’t a simple one; nor was it uncontroversial. But as an article in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican reminds us, it is a decision that’s moving forward as I write. The paper reports that Essex County officials expect the transfer of the home to private ownership will be done before the end of the year.
The company that bought Horace Nye last year is the Centers for Specialty Care of the Bronx — they paid $4.05 million for the 100-bed facility, and some issues that had held up the transfer have now, apparently been resolved. The state is in process of licensing the facility, and once that’s done the county and Centers for Specialty Care will set a transfer date.
OK, so as I’ve said, this hasn’t been uncontroversial. The decision to sell Horace Nye raised all kinds of questions about elder care, the responsibilities of the state, and the future of Adirondack communities. And those people who opposed it a year ago haven’t suddenly become completely comfortable with the sale, either. This week, Moriah Town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava raised the question of some rumors he’s heard that the home’s new owner will cut services. County Attorney Daniel Manning III has responded that the contract Centers for Specialty Care signed with Horace Nye calls for the home to be operated in about the same way post-transfer as it has been until now.
The new owner is also obligated by the agreement, the paper reports, “to offer jobs to current Horace Nye employees, to give first preference for beds to county residents and to allow all residents there now to stay if they wish.”