County seeks bids for its nursing home

HUDSON—The Health and Medical Service Committee of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday, May 29, to authorize the board to issue a requests for proposals (RFP) for the sale of the Pine Haven Nursing Facility and Rehabilitation Center.

Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook) invoked his authority as chairman of the Board of Supervisors to serve on any committee in order to break a tie vote of 3-3. Mr. Grattan voted for the resolution, as did committee Chairman John Porreca (R-Greenport) and members Sarah Sterling (D-Hudson 1st Ward) and Jesse DeGroodt (Chatham). Voting nay were Supervisors Edward Cross (D-Hudson 2nd Ward), Raymond Staats (R-Clermont) and Clifford “Kippy” Weigelt (R-Claverack). Committee members William Hughes (D-Hudson 4th Ward) and Erik Tyree (R-Taghkanic) were absent.

The resolution will go before the full board meeting Wednesday, June 11.

The RFP is to be written to require a private operator to keep Pine Haven in Claverack, preserving a maximum number of current jobs in the nursing home in the village of Philmont,. Two hundred people currently work for Pine Haven, full-time or part-time.

The resolution also calls on applicants to offer new positions first to Columbia County residents. Potential purchasers will submit their proposals to the full board of supervisors.

An hour of debate preceded the vote. In general, those in favor of the resolution said that the RFP would provide the supervisors with information they need about which private companies would be interested in Pine Haven and how they would operate. Those voting against the resolution expressed concerns about the quality of care that private operators would offer and concerns that the county would be giving up the proposed Pine Haven building project too soon, before all the facts are known.

Further details will be published in the June 5 issue of The Columbia Paper.

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