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Candidate says county should have public referendum on nursing home

Posted 9 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Once a precious gem goes down the drain, it is lost forever. Orleans County residents are in jeopardy of losing a precious gem, our County Nursing Home known as The Villages. Your County Legislators have appointed a three person non-elected committee to sell the county home to a profit-making company.

What does this mean to you? It means that once the money from the sale is used, it will not save you tax money and may even cost you more since the taxpayers will always be responsible for Medicaid patients. If local private nursing homes refuse our county Medicaid patients, they may have to be sent to other far-away counties at cost to Orleans County taxpayers. Families may have to travel long distances to visit their relatives.

Our family members and we are all just a heartbeat away from needing skilled nursing services due to age, illness or accident. At $8000 or more per month, how long will your family be able to private pay? At about $51.14 per $100,000 of assessed valuation on your county taxes, this publicly owned nursing home is a bargain and insurance for all of us in the event of disaster.

Would you be willing to pay $10, $20 or $30 a year more in taxes to keep this four-star federally rated facility public so that it might continue to offer excellent services to county residents? We pay $185 a year for garbage services. Our ancestors supported it starting in the 1833 even through the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Demand a voice in this process. Demand a referendum by calling or writing your elected representatives. If the Legislators sell the County Nursing Home without asking the voters, what else do they have the power to do?

It may be time to elect new Legislators that will listen!

Linda Rak
Lyndonville

(Rak is a candidate for County Legislature. She is endorsed by the Conservative Party and is running under the independent “Save Our Nursing Home” line.)