Albany County Nursing Home debate
A controversial topic drew many people to a public hearing on the Albany County budget. The topic was what to do with the county nursing home. Our Megan Cruz reports.
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ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. -- Tuesday night's public hearing was the first held for the proposed 2013 budget. County Executive Dan McCoy says it's around $568 million. The proposed plan to balance this is to raise property taxes by 8.9 percent and privatize the county nursing home.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says the nursing home is losing millions of dollars each year. So, McCoy has proposed to privatize the home, and has tapped Upstate Services Group to do so.
Over 300 people work at the 200-plus bed facility. Many of those employees are worried about their jobs, and whether the quality of care there will be affected by this change-over.
"And we're gonna have less staff, not as qualified. And to take care of these hard to place people... it's just not good work," said Renee Barchitta, Albany County Nursing Home Core Family Council.
McCoy says running the nursing home privately will save taxpayers more than $70 million over the next 10 years.
However, for this plan to go through, the County Legislature and the state Department of Health would have to approve it. The deadline to approve the budget is mid-December.