MAYVILLE - County legislators calling for the sale of the Chautauqua County Home will get their chance to privatize later this month.
Legislature Chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville, confirmed Wednesday that a special meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.
The only item on the agenda, Gould said, is the potential sale of the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility to Altitude Health Services Inc., which has offered $16.5 million in cash for the facility.
"I was thinking about it, and a few legislators came to me about holding a meeting to sell the County Home," Gould said.
A recent straw poll by the OBSERVER shows the legislature is three votes shy of receiving a supermajority to sell the 216-bed County Home. To sell a county property, at least 17 lawmakers need to approve.
But there continues to be a group of legislators steadfast against the sale.
"I do think we need to look at the cost-saving recommendations made in the (Center for Governmental Research) report," said Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, alluding to a financial viability report commissioned by an ad hoc committee.
"At the end of the day we may not all agree with keeping or selling the County Home, but looking at those savings would be the responsible thing to do."
Cornell is one of three Jamestown Democratic legislators who are against privatizing the home. The others are Tim Hoyer and Robert Whitney. Legislators Tom DeJoe, D-Brocton, and Robert Duff, R-Sheridan, also have announced plans to vote against the sale.
The county executive, meanwhile, said he is pleased to see a formal meeting scheduled.
"It really is taking a step forward to have this decision made or resolved, and step forward is precisely what we need," Edwards said.
"The revenue from the sale (of the County Home) obviously is in my budget," he continued. "And that's something that's under consideration right now."
The upcoming special legislative session compounds a busy month for lawmakers; legislature committees currently are reviewing Edwards' tentative 2013 county budget, which concludes Friday with a meeting of the Audit and Control Committee.
Legislators later this month also will meet to possibly approve new legislative districts. A public hearing will take place Oct. 24 prior to the legislature's regular business meeting to discuss the new district lines, which reduces the legislature from 25 districts to 19.
"We have a lot going on this month so I wanted to hold (this special meeting) before we got into all of that," Gould said.