Nursing Home LDC officially dissolves

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Russ Martino, chairman of the Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation, speaks during this morning’s meeting to dissolve the corporation. Martino is pictured with the other two directors, Richard DeCarlo Sr., left, and Richard Moy.

ALBION – An organization that formed about two years ago to sell the Orleans County-owned nursing home voted to dissolve today.

The Orleans County Legislature formed the Orleans County Health Facilities Corporation on March 7, 2013. The entity was tasked with selling the 120-bed Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Facility.

The Legislature transferred the nursing home to Health Facilities Corporation, which then sold it for $7.8 million to Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC. That entity became the owner on Jan. 1.

The county intends to use the sale proceeds to pay off the debt from a $10 million renovation and expansion of the nursing home in 2007. About $7 million remains in that debt. Paying it off will spare the county about $900,000 in annual debt service payments, Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer, said today.

County officials will discuss how to use the remaining funds from the sale. It may go to replenishing the county’s fund balance, which Nesbitt said has taken a hit with sales tax revenues off about $360,000 from budget in 2013, the expense with a recent murder trial, and some less-than-expected state reimbursements.

Russ Martino, a former Yates town supervisor and retired Lyndonville principal, served as the LDC’s chairman. He is pleased with the sale price and the transition to the new owner.

“It has really work out smooth,” he said. “Everything I’ve heard has been positive.”

He is pleased to see most of the employees have been retained and Comprehensive Healthcare Management has recognized seniority of the county employees, and hasn’t made the workers start all over based on work experience. Albion Central School also is continuing to operate an alternative high school program at the nursing home, where students do internships with nursing home staff.

Martino served on the LDC board with Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy, and Richard DeCarlo, the former Gaines town supervisor.

Martino said the group didn’t face the ire of the public as it worked on selling the nursing home.

“We didn’t get beat up,” Martino said.

For much of 2012 and ’13, many residents protested the sale of the nursing home. Many residents and nursing home employees picketed on Main Street during County Legislature meetings.

Legislature Chairman David Callard attended the meeting today to dissolve the LDC. He thanked the three-man volunteer board for overseeing the nursing home sale.

“You did a very professional job,” Callard said.

Nesbitt served as president and CEO of the LDC. He said the county continues to assist the new owners with minor transition issues at the nursing home.

“We’re helping them to understand the various nuances of the facilities,” Nesbitt said. “Things are going pretty well overall.”