COOPERSTOWN — The stage is now officially set for the Otsego County Board of Representatives to vote May 1 on creating a local development corporation in order to sell the 174-bed Otsego Manor nursing home to a private operator.
But first, a public hearing will be held on the plan at 6 p.m. Monday at the Otsego County Courthouse in Cooperstown.
On Tuesday, the administration committee of the Board of Representatives voted to recommend the LCD option for selling the Manor. The county’s subsidy to the home has surged in recent years, with officials citing a reduction in government health care reimbursement rates, higher labor costs and pension obligations as among the reasons for the widening funding gap.
The vote by the administration committee means the full county board can determine whether it wants to set up the LCD at its next meeting.
That meeting will be held at 10 a.m. next Wednesday at the Meadows office complex just south of Cooperstown. The Meadows is being used because officials said they believe it can hold more people than the meeting room normally used by the board at the county office building.
A grassroots group that has been trying to dissuade the board from going forward with the planned sale, Save the Otsego Manor, has argued that the quality of patient care is bound to decline once the Manor is privatized.
But Rep. Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, the chairman of the administration committee, said he believes the LDC will strive to find a buyer that will be committed to running the home in a way that does not compromise patient care.
The committee that would control the LDC, he said, would be appointed by the board’s chairwoman, Rep. Kathleen Clark, R-Otego, with input from Rep. Katherine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, the chairwoman of the Manor Committee.