MAYVILLE - The future of the cash-strapped Chautauqua County Home remains up in the air. But in two weeks all the cards will be on the table.
County officials have confirmed that a special meeting of the legislature has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Mayville. A financial viability report on the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility will be given at that time.
"The report will contain various options to save the County Home money and will contain options for possibly selling the County Home," said John Runkle, R-Stockton. "We wanted to get all the options out there."
The special meeting, which Runkle said will be open to the public, takes place a day before the legislature holds its monthly voting session.
Don Pryor, director of human services analysis for the Center for Governmental Research, will give the viability report. An ad-hoc committee in February tapped CGR to study the home, which County Executive Greg Edwards said loses almost $11,000 a day.
To keep the nursing facility solvent the legislature in May agreed to allocate $1.36 million out of its fund balance to match a federal grant. The multi-million revenue boost was by and large supported by lawmakers.
However, long-term financial success of the home remains in doubt.
"We will be laying out what we see as the strengths of the current facility as well as the limitations of it," Pryor said to the OBSERVER of the upcoming meeting. "We will be discussing the pros and cons and put them into historical context."
Pryor, who has conducted a half-dozen financial studies throughout the state, said he could not discuss the report directly before the meeting.
The legislature in June was notified of two qualified offers for the County Home, one by Absolut Care Facilities Management, LLC and the other by Altitude Health Services Inc.
Absolut Care, which operates two nursing facilities in Chautauqua County, submitted an offer of $1.6 million a year with a purchase option of $16 million to buy at any time. Altitude Health, located near Chicago, offered $16.5 million in cash for the County Home.
During the June meeting Runkle requested that the offers and the investigation by the marketing firm Marcus and Millichap be forwarded to CGR. The information has been included in the viability report.
The county executive said he is pleased to see progress regarding the home's future.
"I'm very excited the legislature has been called for this special meeting," Edwards said. "The CGR and the ad-hoc committee planned ahead and I'm excited to hear from Don Pryor."
Asked what he expects to happen after the meeting, Edwards said, "I'm hopeful everyone will get the info and then make an individual investment and determine the best course of action."
Runkle said lawmakers will have a chance to ask questions during the meeting. He noted that the 22-member ad-hoc committee, which he chairs, will then meet with Pryor after the special session to discuss further options.
"We're about to bring this thing to a conclusion," Runkle said. "I think it's good that this study was commissioned in the first place. ... All in all, we will have all of our ducks in a row to make an informed decision."