Allport says he’s ‘completely in support’ of nursing home sale

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Orleans County Legislator Don Allport said he is fully behind the push to sell the county-owned nursing home, saying the site will be better run by a private company and will spare county taxpayers an annual deficit in the millions. He is speaking at a Legislative Luncheon today at The Village Inn.

GAINES – Orleans County Legislator Don Allport didn’t mince words today when asked questions during a Legislative Luncheon organized by the Chamber of Commerce.

About the push to sell the county nursing home, a sale that could be acted on next month: “I am completely in support of this sale,” he told about 75 people at the luncheon. “I’m adamantly against government being involved in the healthcare system. The private sector does it better.”

Allport said the nursing home could ring up a $3.4 million deficit this year. The 120-bed facility is a burden on taxpayers, he said.

If a three-person local development corporation votes next month to accept a purchase offer for the nursing home, the deal isn’t done. The sale needs to be reviewed by the state Department of Health, and that could take a year or more.

Once the sale is final, Allport said county taxpayers “will see a significant cut in taxes.”

The Villages of Orleans will also go on the tax rolls, perhaps boosting the village, town, county and school district assessments by $5 to $10 million, Allport said.

The switch to a private owner should ensure the site stays opens for years to come, he said. The county can’t afford the steep losses. He expects the service will improve under a private operator that is focused on nursing home care.

“Give it to someone who knows what they’re doing,” Allport said. “Because government doesn’t.”

Allport of Gaines was the county’s representative during the Legislative Luncheon that included state legislators George Maziarz and Steve Hawley. (They’ll be featured in a separate article.)

‘Oh Lord, help us if we go down the road and a New Yorker ever becomes president.’
– Legislator Don Allport

Allport was critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature for enacting a property tax cap about three years ago that did not provide significant mandate relief for local governments. Mediciad and eight other state mandated programs account for more than 100 percent of the county property tax bill, Allport said.

He was asked about whether Cuomo is jockeying to run for president, and whether that would be good or bad for the county.

“I don’t think America is foolish enough to put someone in that position who lied about mandate relief,” Allport said.

He also said the governor took an oath to uphold the Constitution and violated it by pushing through the SAFE Act, which Allport said infringes on Second Amendment rights.

In New York, Democrats have a major enrollment edge over Republicans for state-wide offices. New York is still a high-profile state, and many of the political talking heads speculate Cuomo’s policy pushes are aimed for a higher office.

Allport said he worries for the country if Cuomo or another liberal Democrat was elected U.S. president.

“Oh Lord, help us if we go down the road and a New Yorker ever becomes president.”