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October 3, 2012

Gibson asks feds to delay Countryside aid cutoff


Crouch wasn’t optimistic that any of the center’s 150 jobs could be saved if the center closed.

“I’m strictly speculating at this point in time, but those jobs would probably disappear,” he said. “It’s obviously very concerning. Whether the current owner has other opportunities for them at some other facility I don’t know. I haven’t had any conversation or communication with the current owner.”

Crouch said he did not know the identity of the possible buyer.

It also was unclear Tuesday whether the potential buyer had been negotiating actively with the center’s current owner, Leatherstocking Healthcare.

“Leatherstocking Healthcare has been holding their cards close to their vest,” state Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, said in an email response to questions sent to him.

Asked whether there was anything the county, state or federal governments could do to save some of the 150 jobs that would be lost if the center closed, Bonacic wrote that government was limited in what it could do.

“Ultimately, this is a private sector operation,” he wrote. “What we can do at the state and federal level is to encourage the state to facilitate any potential sale that might save jobs.”

He pointed out that neither Leatherstocking nor Delaware County had asked for help.

“We are reaching out on our own, because we’re concerned about the healthcare and jobs,” he wrote. “We cannot control a private-sector operation, but the state and federal government could be helpful in any way possible.”

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