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The Orange County Legislative Committee approves funding for Valley View for a full year. As YNN's Meredith Zaritheny reports, the candidates for county executive are talking about where they stand on the issue.
GOSEHN, N.Y. -- In a 6 to 1 decision, the County Legislature Health and Mental Services Committee voted to fund Valley View for all of 2014.
Operating costs for the the nursing home and rehab center currently costs about $13 million. According to a report by independent auditors, federal aid covers about $5.7 million of that cost.
"This is an absolute win for Orange County," said Roxanne Donnery, the Democratic candidate for Orange County Executive.
"I'm very happy the county legislature has put in a realistic timeline, which is to fund it for the entire year next year," said Steve Neuhaus, the Republican candidate for Orange County Executive.
Since 2011, County Executive Ed Diana has been pushing to privatize the facility. However, Diana is leaving office at the end of this term. Now, both candidates running for his job stress the importance of Valley View. Donnery and Neuhaus have differing opinions about the facility's future though.
"Keep this beloved nursing home in county hands and have it for the future of our seniors for our veterans, is the most important significant thing we can do this year," said Donnery.
"It's an asset because in the next 10 years, 85 percent of the nation's seniors, the baby-boomers are reaching a senior age, so it's a very important asset we need more senior housing," said Neuhaus.
Neuhaus says at this point, he’s not for privatization. Selling Valley View to a private company is a big concern for Donnery. She feels the level of care that's currently being provided would diminish significantly. Donnery adds jobs would be lost if the facility was sold.
"We're talking about saving jobs, we're talking about saving the beloved home that gives excellent care, we're talking about saving our future," said Donnery.
"Let’s see where we can stop the bleeding of money and let’s see if we can make it work, and now we're actually giving it the chance it deserves," said Neuhaus.