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January 2, 2014

Horace Nye switchover delayed

Transfer to private ownership taking longer than expected

ELIZABETHTOWN — Last-minute legal issues has delayed transfer of Essex County’s Horace Nye Nursing Home, probably until the end of January.

The county sold the 100-bed Nursing Home to the Centers for Specialty Care of the Bronx for $4.05 million. Company representatives have been on-site working toward the handoff, which had been planned for Jan. 1.

LOCAL CORPORATIONS

But the Centers for Specialty Care created two local corporations that will actually own and operate the Nursing Home, so it became necessary to make alterations to the agreement to include those entities.

Essex Operations Associates LLC, will operate Horace Nye Nursing Home and employ its staff — 133 workers at the time of sale.

Essex Land Associates LLC will own the Horace Nye building and real estate.

That pushed the transfer date further into January, County Manager Daniel Palmer said Tuesday.

“It looks like not until Jan. 31, at this point, although that is not official, because it is a matter of wrapping up all the loose ends between the lawyers.”

BENEFITS

The county will still extend some benefits to workers at the home after the sale is complete, including longevity pay, health insurance, vacation time and compensatory time.

The County Board of Supervisors approved a nullification of the home’s collective-bargaining agreement at its year-end meeting this week, to take effect when the transfer occurs, except for layoff, recall and retirement clauses.

Some employees at the home are expected to retire or transfer to other county departments instead of going to work for the new owner.

Employees at the Nursing Home had been represented by the local chapter of the Civil Service Employees Association.

LIABILITY COST

County Attorney Daniel Manning III said the liability insurance for Horace Nye will also expire when the sale transpires.

“Once the transfer is complete, we should see a significant reduction in our liability policy (cost),” Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said.

The county put Horace Nye on the market in 2012 to get it off the county tax levy. It had been losing more than $2 million annually.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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