The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Local News

December 31, 2012

2012 sees closures, drilling dominate

(Continued)

As 2012 draws to a close, each of these issues remains unresolved, but it seems likely that 2013 could see their resolution.

Countryside Care Center closed; Otsego Manor poised for sale

The shutdown of Delaware County’s former public nursing home, Countryside Care Center, was among the more surprising stories of 2012. The facility had struggled in some respects since being taken over by Leatherstocking Healthcare LLC in 2006, being fined on a few occasions for health and safety violations.

But there was little warning when, in September, the owners decided to walk away rather than correct additional violations. Barely more than a month later, the facility was shuttered, its residents scattered to nursing homes in Albany, Binghamton, Utica and elsewhere. Its 200 employees were left without jobs, and, in some cases, its vendors were left with unpaid bills.

Throughout the hurried closure process, elected officials spoke of the possibility that the facility could be sold and the 199-bed nursing home preserved. The talk of a sale continues, but nothing has been finalized.

As the Countryside saga played out, it brought heightened scrutiny to a decision by the Otsego County Board of Representatives to sell its county-run nursing home, Otsego Manor. The Manor threatened to take the county under completely in 2012 as state and federal aid streams dried up.

After numerous warnings from county Treasurer Dan Crowell that continuing to fund the Manor would lead the county to fiscal insolvency, the board acted swiftly, passing an unheralded resolution to sell the 174-bed facility before a largely empty chamber. Protests, petitions and even the threat of legal action followed.

Despite budget wranglings that at one point seemed to hold the possibility of preserving the Manor as a county-run nursing home, the board is going forward with its plan to sell.

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