LITTLE VALLEY — A resolution to hire an auditing firm to project the county nursing homes’ revenues over the next five and 10 years was approved Wednesday by Cattaraugus County Legislature committees.
Sponsor Paula Stockman, R-South Dayton, the Legislature’s chairwoman, said previously the resolution is to help determine what revenues are expected to be available to help pay nursing home costs.
The resolution calls for the hiring of Lumsden & McCormick LLP, Buffalo, for a financial study of the nursing homes for $25,000 plus up to $5,000 in additional expenses.
There was no discussion about the resolution in the Human Services Committee as it was passed around the table for signatures from committee members.
Legislature Vice Chairman James J. Snyder, R-Olean, refused to sign the resolution when it came before the Finance Committee, of which he is chairman, saying there are personnel issues at The Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Olean that need to be resolved first.
Snyder said after the Finance Committee meeting that he expects nursing home employees and supporters to protest what some see as seeking justification to sell the two county nursing homes with more than 220 beds total because they require subsidy from the county tax levy.
Stockman said last week the resolution to hire the firm was not to justify the sale of the nursing homes, but to point out how much future funding the nursing homes will need from the county tax levy. The report would be due Dec. 1. Eleven of the 17 county lawmakers were sponsors of the resolutions introduced in June to explore selling both nursing homes. The other home is in Machias.
The resolutions were tabled after an outcry from nursing home workers; other county union employees; and other supporters, including family members of nursing home residents.
Last month, the county legislators heard the 2015 annual audit of the nursing homes performed by McCarthy & Conlon of Queensbury, which showed that while there has been an improvement in financial conditions, the facilities cost the county between $2.5 million and $3 million a year.
Majority Leader Donna Vickman, R-Farmersville, a strong supporter of the nursing homes, believes the study is a positive.
“Hopefully we can find information everyone else thinks they already know,” she said.
The information from the study should help legislators “to make an educated decision,” Vickman added.
Some legislators have already made up their mind to sell the nursing homes, Snyder said without naming names.
The resolution will be on the agenda for Sept. 28’s Legislature meeting.