MAYVILLE – The question of whether or not the Chautauqua County Home will ever be sold may finally be settled once and for all. It appears the Chautauqua County Legislature will approve the sale of the 216-bed, skilled nursing facility no later than May, if not sooner. And there’s a strong likelihood the sale will go to Altitude Health Services, Inc. of Chicago.
On Monday afternoon County Legislator and Majority Leader Larry Barmore (R-Gerry) told WRFA that the legislature will vote on a local law later this month that would change the way county property is approved for sale, making it easier.
The new local law would require a simple-majority vote by the legislature to authorize the sale of any piece of county property – including the County Home in Dunkirk. Is it is currently written, the law requires a super-majority –or 17 out of 25 votes – for any piece of county-owned property to be sold. If Bamore’s local law is approved, then only 13 out of 25 votes would be needed.
The question doesn’t become so much a matter of if but of when when you consider Barmore’s proposal will have 13 sponsors, all the votes that are needed to pass it through. Once signed by the County Executive, the local law would have to wait 60 days before finally going into effect. So if given the vote will take place on Feb. 27, by April 27 the sale would only need 13 votes.
Barmore also said that with all this given, he’s fairly certain the sale will go to Altitude Health Services, Inc., owned by Avi Rothner. It was just last month that the County Legislature was one vote short of approving the sale to Rothner, at a cost of $16.5 million.
County Executive Greg Edwards – along with several members of the legislature – has been pushing for the sale of the home for nearly two years, saying it is costing the county too much money to remain in operation much longer. But so far, Edwards has been unable to get a the 17 votes needed to approve the sale. With Barmore’s local law, they will now only need to focus on 13 votes.
Barmore’s Local law will go to the legislature’s Administrative Services Committee next week for consideration, before going before the full legislature during it’s monthly voting session on February 27.
More information on this, including comments from Barmore, on Tuesday during the WRFA Morning News Update at 7, 8 and 9 a.m.