Elizabethtown An amendment to explore the option of leasing the Horace Nye Nursing Home to a private business along with the option to sell the facility did not make it out of the Finance Committee meeting Oct. 17.
The ammendment, which would give Essex County another option when it came to the potential transition of the facility from a county to privately funded facility, was defeated when only four of the six members present voted for the measure, which needed five yes votes in order to pass.
Roby Politi (North Elba), George Canon (Newcomb), William “Bill” Ferebee (Keene) and Robert Dobie (North Hudson) voted in favor of the amendment; while Thomas “Tom” Scozzafava (Moriah) and Edward “Ed” Hatch (Willsboro) voted against.
Joyce Morency (St. Armand) and Debra Malaney (Ticonderoga) were not at the committee meetings on Oct. 17, while Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald “Gerry” Morrow had to leave before the Finance Committee meeting began to tend to a town matter.
County Manager Daniel Palmer said that he felt the county needed to find out if there was an interest in the facility.
“We have an obligation to know one way or another if there is an interest in the private sector to run the home,” Palmer said. “You can put whatever conditions you want into the agreement in order to proceed. This amendment would give us another option to lease the nursing home out.”
Palmer also said that the board should take a hard look at a sale or lease agreement because it would mean that jobs at the facility would not come under the chopping block of the county budget.
“If we have to lay off county employees, it would be better to transition a great deal of our employees to the private sector where they will still have jobs,” Palmer said.