Preston: Sell Horace Nye

The Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown.

The Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Responding to a question from the press, Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston took a strong stand against public ownership of the Horace Nye nursing home at an April 10 Wilmington town council meeting.

“If you go on to the Department of Health website, under their inspections, and you pull up the inspections for our publicly held home and the inspections for the three places that have bid for it, we did not fare well,” Preston said. “It was quite eye-opening to see how the public ones rated. Our report was quite bad.”

The Department of Health’s Complaint and Incident Summary Report for the period between early 2009 and early 2012 shows that Horace Nye had 29.9 complaints per 100 occupied bed. The state average was 23.9. Horace Nye had 4.1 citations per occupied beds. The state average was 1.6.

The full picture is mixed — there are Department of Health rankings where Horace Nye compares favorably with state averages — but the Essex County-run home underperforms noticeably in several categories within the reports.

“I don’t think the county should be in the public nursing home business,” Preston said. “The benefits aren’t sustainable. There was over $300,000 last year in workers’ compensation. If we don’t sell the Horace Nye Home, we’re looking at a 30-40 percent tax increase and/or laying off at least 50 people from the county. So, they’re really tough choices, but from what I’ve seen we should not be in the nursing home business. We’re not good at it.”

Town council members also discussed an open position at the town youth center at the April 10 meeting.

“We’re basically looking for somebody, or two people, to run the place,” Preston said.

The youth center is generally open in the evenings and on weekends. The part-time position offers no benefits.

“We’re hoping that the successful candidate or candidates can actually do some programming with the kids, have some different activities scheduled weekly and let people know what we have to offer,” he added.

The town council also briefly discussed the upcoming AuSable River Two Fly Challenge (May 18 and 19) and the fifth annual Team Placid Planet Wilmington-Whiteface Road Race, which will be held on June 9. The bike race will start at the town park and finish at Santa’s Workshop. The race will take place on Bonnieview Road, Silver Lake Road, Goodrich Mills Road, Turnpike Road and the Guideboard Road, and rolls through the towns of Swastika and Black Brook as well as Wilmington.

The next town council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 8.

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