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Westmount sale stalled; co-generation contract questioned

Warren County Administrator Paul Dusek advises county supervisors April 18 that going forward with the sale of Westmount nursing home makes sense, as the county would be facing substantial liabilities if it takes other courses of action. The board voted by a narrow margin not to go forward immediately with a pending sale to Specialty Care Group, after question were raised about the sale price and terms. The decision may be reversed soon, however, as two supervisors who have supported the sale were not present for Friday's vote. (rear): County Board Clerk Joan Sady and Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty listen to Dusek's comments.

Warren County Administrator Paul Dusek advises county supervisors April 18 that going forward with the sale of Westmount nursing home makes sense, as the county would be facing substantial liabilities if it takes other courses of action. The board voted by a narrow margin not to go forward immediately with a pending sale to Specialty Care Group, after question were raised about the sale price and terms. The decision may be reversed soon, however, as two supervisors who have supported the sale were not present for Friday's vote. (rear): County Board Clerk Joan Sady and Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty listen to Dusek's comments. Photo by Thom Randall.

— A resolution to move ahead with the proposed sale of Warren County’s Westmount nursing home was narrowly defeated by the county Board of Supervisors Friday April 18, after questions were raised about the proposed sale terms and price.

Twelve of the 18 supervisors voted in favor of the sale, but the weighted vote of the board — which allocates more power according to population represented — tallied 501 against moving forward to 499 in favor.

The vote doesn’t necessarily halt the proposed sale of the facility for $2.3 million to Specialty Care Group, however, as two supervisors who have supported the sale were absent from the supervisors’ monthly meeting.

County leaders said after the meeting that the issue would likely be raised again within weeks at the county board’s Facilities Committee meeting.

Supervisors said at the April 18 meeting that they weren’t ready to move ahead with the sale because they weren’t sure whether the nursing home’s cogeneration plant operation — which has cost the county millions of dollars — may have depressed the price offered by Specialty Care. The cogeneration plant operates under a lease-purchase agreement with Siemens Building Technologies that extends for about seven more years.

Voting against moving forward with the sale were Queensbury supervisor John Strough, Glens Falls supervisors Peter McDevitt and Jim Brock, Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow. and Queensbury supervisors-at-large Mark Westcott and Doug Beaty.

McDevitt, representing Glens Falls Ward 2, urged the board to renew negotiations with Fort Hudson Health Systems, as their lower bid for the home might be boosted with the lack of obligation to the cogeneration contract with Siemens. McDevitt cited Fort Hudson’s reputation and their track record in caring for and employing local residents.

But Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty and county Administrator Paul Dusek responded that Fort Hudson didn’t cite the cogeneration contract during the negotiation process as a factor in their bid.

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