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May 1, 2013

Let LDC handle Manor sale

It’s a dilemma, make no mistake about it.

Often erroneously used as a synonym for a big problem, a dilemma is more-accurately defined as the choice between two unpalatable choices. No matter which of a bull’s horns might gore you, it’s not going to be pleasant, hence the phrase “on the horns of a dilemma.”

When it comes to the question of what to do about its nursing home, the Manor, Otsego County has a first-class dilemma on its hands, and the situation is anything but pleasant.

On the one hand — or horn — the Manor is costing as much as $11 million a year, a deficit the county board recognizes can’t be sustained.

On the other horn, the nursing home is widely regarded as an outstanding 174-bed facility that provides top-notch care to people who really need it.

Residents and their families worry quite legitimately about cutbacks if the county sells the place to a private business.

Union workers also realize their jobs will be in jeopardy if private ownership takes over.

This morning, the board will meet before what is likely to be a large, raucous audience of interested parties at the Otsego Meadows office complex and — unless there is a highly unlikely sea change in its previous position — vote to form a local development corporation to sell the Manor.

Especially in the wake of what happened in nearby Delaware County, where private ownership led to the closing of the 199-bed Countryside Care Center in Delhi, people have a right to be wary. In addition to residents being forced out, about 200 jobs were lost.

Still, a majority of Otsego County board members feel they have little choice but to sell the facility, and if that’s the case, then a local development corporation — or LDC — is the way to go.

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