Press-Republican

January 23, 2013

Horace Nye sale issues almost resolved

By LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Administrative issues that were holding up the sale of Essex County’s Horace Nye Nursing Home are almost resolved.

County Attorney Daniel Manning III said he recently spoke with representatives of the Bronx-based Centers for Specialty Care to negotiate the last two administrative obstacles to the $4.05 million sale.

“My last sentence (to them) was, ‘Can you now sign the contract?’ I expect the Horace Nye contract to be signed soon.”

The next step is to hire a licensed surveyor to produce a land survey of the Horace Nye property behind the Essex County Government Center.

“There is no survey for Horace Nye,” Manning said. 

“We (Essex County) bought the property back in the 1950s. We sold a chunk of the property to Elizabethtown Community Hospital in the 1960s. There is a survey of the hospital property.”

He said the existing deed for the Nursing Home’s 2.5 acres is not that accurate.

“We should commission a survey so we know what we’re selling and the buyer knows what they’re buying. There’s a question that our maintenance garage back there is partially on Horace Nye property.”

QUESTIONABLE BOUNDARY

The county should also make sure the county’s back parking lot is not part of the sale, Manning said.

One member of the County Board of Supervisors didn’t like the timing of the study.

“This is a poor time to be doing the survey,” Supervisor Michael Marnell (R-Schroon) said. “Shouldn’t the buyer and the seller split the costs?”

“They balked at paying for half,” Manning said. “The 1950s survey is very difficult (to read).”

Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said there have been lot boundary questions around Horace Nye for years.

“That boundary over there was always questionable,” he said.

Manning got permission from the County Personnel and Administration Committee to go to bid for a surveyor. The request gets a final vote at the board’s February meeting.

He said the buyer also wants a detailed environmental survey of the property.

“They want to conduct a Phase 2 environmental study. We would be well advised to do that.”

The cost should be a few thousand dollars, and Manning said he’s trying to get the buyer to pay for all or part of the Phase 2 study.

Once the contract is signed, the Centers for Specialty Care will apply for an operating license, called a Certificate of Need, from the State Department of Health. That should take nine to 12 months to be granted.

‘POINT OF NO RETURN’

The Board of Supervisors voted in June 2012 to sell the Nursing Home to the Centers for Specialty Care. It had been losing more than $2 million a year in county hands.

The sale contract hasn’t been signed yet but should be soon, County Manager Daniel Palmer said.

“When they start asking about transferring phone numbers and things like that, you know it’s imminent,” he said.

“It’s at the point of no return,” Supervisor George Canon (R-Newcomb) said.

Email Lohr McKinstry:

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com