MAYVILLE - After nine months on the open market, county lawmakers will hear Wednesday what offers have been made for the Chautauqua County Home.
In his Monday Morning Memo, County Executive Greg Edwards discussed the upcoming special County Legislature meeting with representatives from the Chicago-based marketing firm Marcus and Millichap.
The meeting, which was scheduled by Legislature Chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville, and will be open to the public, will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers in Mayville.
"I am looking forward to this opportunity to have the legislators review the proposals that we have received, analyze the commitments made by those who are interested in acquiring the long term care facility, and ask the necessary and important questions about the offers," Edwards said.
As he has noted in the past, the county executive said the County Home cannot financially support itself, "which leaves Chautauqua County taxpayers on the hook to pay an ever increasing amount of tax dollars to have the county as the owner and operator of this long term care facility."
During the legislature's Audit and Control Committee last month, auditors from the accounting firm BWB presented results of their annual audit. The report showed the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility lost approximately $1.8 million in 2010 and over $3 million in 2011.
According to a financial report commissioned by the Audit and Control Committee and obtained by the OBSERVER, the County Home was slated to run a deficit of $3.7 million this year; its cash accounts were expected to be depleted by the middle of next year.
However, the legislature in May approved a $1.38 million appropriation to match a federal grant that will give the home a $3.6 million revenue boost. The local share payment, which was heavily debated in committees and the legislature but largely supported, will come from the county's fund balance.
"The good news is that there is a way to end this drain on our taxpayers, keep the home and its services for our residents, and retain employees' jobs," Edwards said. "The proposals that will be presented by Marcus and Millichap will show not only benefits, but also the revenue that could be generated as the owners would be paying property taxes on the facility instead of its current tax-exempt status.
"I encourage everyone to follow along with the facts of the offers and the quality of the proposals. I am confident that a full and fair analysis of these offers is the best opportunity we have for keeping the essential services, while avoiding multi-million dollar tax liabilities in the years ahead."
According to John Runkle, R-Stockton, who chairs an ad-hoc committee regarding the home, said a financial viability study by the Center for Governmental Research will most likely not be done this week. Lawmakers had hoped to hear both reports together.
"I was told it probably would not be done by Wednesday," Runkle said. "We're hoping the special meeting will be incorporated into the study, which would be a good thing."
Runkle said he was told the report should be completed within the next few weeks.