LDC expects to approve sale of nursing home in January

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 December 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A three-person board of directors expects to make a decision next month on the sale of The Villages of Orleans, a 120-bed nursing home on Route 31 in Albion, the chairman of the group said today.

“We’re not dragging our feet but we’re not rushing it, either,” said Russ Martino, chairman of the Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation.

The County Legislature in February voted to transfer the county nursing home to the Health Facilities Corporation. The board for that local development corporation has been tasked with finding a buyer for the site.

The proposals have been submitted and the board is weighing two final offers. Martino said the board will try to iron out the framework of a purchase agreement during a 1 p.m. meeting on Friday. Most of that session at the Health Department, next to the nursing home, will be behind closed doors from the public due to the negotiations with the sale of real estate.

The board is considering more than price, Martino said. The board wants the new owner to work with Albion Central School to continue an alternative education program at the site. At-risk students at Albion take classes at the nursing home and do an internship or job shadowing with staff.

The nursing home also currently prepares meals for residents at the hospice residence down the road. Martino wants that partnership to continue.

“We’re still negotiating and we want to make sure the school and hospice are in the agreement,” Martino said.

The LDC board isn’t rushing to reach a deal, but Martino said the group doesn’t want to delay the process.

The LDC and county hired Marcus and Millichap’s National Senior Housing Group, a Chicago firm that specializes selling nursing homes. The firm helped find buyers and is working with the county on the sales agreement. Marcus and Millichap will get a 2.5 percent commission as its fee.

The county still owes about $8 million in debt for nursing home renovations and an expansion in 2007. The county is paying about $800,000 a year in debt for the nursing home.

If the sale was approved before the end of a calendar year that could save the county about $800,000 in an additonal debt payment. The county budgeted for about $800,000 in nursing home debt in 2014.

It will likely have to make that payment again in 2015 because the sale is subject to a review by the state Department of Health. That review is expected to take 12 to 18 months.

Martino has said bids for the nursing home would at least cover the outstanding debt for the nursing home.