Essex County wants Horace Nye rumors stopped PDF Print E-mail
Written by LOHR McKINSTRY, Staff Writer   
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County is preparing to do rumor control on the fate of Horace Nye Nursing Home.
"We're not going to close the Nursing Home tomorrow," Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said. "We are looking into the possibility of selling it."
Either County Manager Clifford Donaldson Jr. or Nursing Home Administrator Deborah Gifford should send a note to employees and families of guests to reassure them, he said.
"There's a lot of anxiety from the employees. The rumors are the county plans to sell the Nursing Home and get out of the nursing-home business."
Supervisor Anthony Glebus (R-Lewis) said many people have even told him there's a new site picked for a county nursing home.
"People are speculating. There's much ado about what the county is going to be doing with the Horace Nye Home. I can't provide any answers."
Glebus said two specific sites in Elizabethtown and one in Lewis are being mentioned in rumors he's heard.
"There's nothing more than talk," said Supervisor Ronald Jackson (R-Essex), who chairs the County Nursing Home Task Force. "It's premature to say anything about what would happen."
He said the State Department of Environmental Conservation has told them no construction of a new home could occur until the proposed Elizabethtown municipal sewer system is operating.
The county has been assessing the Nursing Home because it loses money every year. The options are to privatize the home by selling it, build a new facility or leave things as they are.
Nothing has been brought back to the Board of Supervisors from the Task Force, Supervisor Joyce Morency (R-St. Armand) said.
"Give them (Task Force members) a chance to do their job. It's not ready yet."
One rumor says the Nursing Home will close in two years.
"I've heard the decisions are all made and we're just not telling anybody until the last minute," Supervisor Daniel Connell (D-Westport) said.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Noel Merrihew III (R-Elizabethtown) said he'll try to get more specific information to quench the rumors.
"We are still trying to assess the changing (funding) environment. We can start having more of a fast-track timeline on Horace Nye needs."
He said the Elizabethtown town sewer-system plan should be ready this summer.
Listening to all the false rumors is disheartening, Glebus said.
"It rubs you the wrong way a little bit. We need to clarify where we are with this."
Donaldson said he'll try to get something out.
"The best way to say this is: All options are still open. I don't know what else can be said about the issue at this time."



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