There was one last rally outside the Essex County Government Center in Elizabethtown-- an effort to convince county supervisors not to sell the Horace Nye Nursing Home.
Inside, emotions ran high, including outbursts from those sitting in on the debate.
"This is absolutely disgusting," said Barbara Paye, who opposes the sale of the nursing home.
"I will have to ask you to leave if you come out with another outburst," said Randy Douglas, D-Essex County Supervisor.
Tom Scozzafava, R-Moriah Town Supervisor, accused county leaders of failing to follow the open meetings law by not being more detailed with the agenda posted online. There is no mention of the nursing home vote, just resolutions which included the proposed sale.
Tom Scozzafava: So issues like this would not be railroaded through.
Randy Douglas: You objected to the resolution.
Tom Scozzafava: Excuse me, don't I have the floor here?
Randy Douglas: Well, I'm running this meeting.
After finishing in the red for several years, the Horace Nye Nursing Home is $21 million in debt. So the county proposed selling the 100-bed facility to Centers for Specialty Care based in New York City. The private company offered to buy it for just over $4 million.
"I don't believe this county has the resources to make the changes that are needed at Horace Nye," said Sue Montgomery Corey, D-Minerva Town Supervisor.
"It's a large, rural county. They need a place to go if they have to in the future and we are selling it on them," said Gerald Morrow, R-Chesterfield Town Supervisor.
The sale needed 66 percent approval from the board of supervisors. It passed by one vote.
Residents fear the sale to an out-of-state company will hurt quality of care. And employees are concerned about job security.
"We're not going to be as good off as we are now. I'm afraid, everyone is afraid," said Alice Hull, a resident at Horace Nye.
"My concern is we'll have to reapply for our jobs and it's the unknown right now for me and my fellow workers," said Elizabeth O'Donnell, an employee at Horace Nye. "It's a dirty rotten shame what they're doing to this people."
"I believe we will uphold the promise that we will prove the best quality care for those eligible for admission," said Deborah Gifford, the director at Horace Nye.
"I'm not blasting those that supported the sale, but I think it's something that is going to come back and haunt us," Scozzafava said.
"It's time to stop the leak. Yes, there are still some costs associated with this that we will still continue to pay, but in the long run we need to stop the leak," Douglas said.
The change in ownership at Horace Nye is a process that is expected to take between eight months and a year to complete.
Centers for Specialty Care runs more than a dozen nursing homes in New York.
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