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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Top Stories > General

Legislature committee approves $2.5 million for Care Center

Aug 13, 2020

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

By: ISABEL BRAVERMAN | DEMOCRAT
The Legislature’s Budget Committee approved funding up to $2.5 million for the Care Center yesterday.
MONTICELLO — Because of a decline in residents at the Care Center at Sunset Lake due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Management and Budget Committee yesterday approved funding up to $2.5 million to the Care Center.
The money will come from the county's unassigned fund balance from the general fund.
County management says this funding will help the Care Center operate until the end of the year.
The 2020 Adopted County Budget anticipated an average occupancy of 130 residents. But during the pandemic it operated at an average of 90 residents, mainly due to the center not accepting new patients.

If the census remains at an average of 90 patients through the end of the year, coupled with revenue losses during the COVID-19 Pandemic, revenue will be approximately $2.845 million less than what was anticipated, the resolution states.
The Federal Government, recognizing that nursing homes have struggled to maintain anticipated occupancy, provided the Care Center $486,000 in direct aid to offset revenue losses.
The resolution was passed in committee by a 5-0 vote and will go before the full board next week.
These developments happened shortly before presstime yesterday. More details to come as the story develops

Care Center Administrator Resigns

In other news, Care Center at Sunset Lake Administrator Sherrita Alexander announced her resignation effective immediately on Tuesday. Alexander began her tenure as Administrator on April 13.
According to a spokesperson for the county, it was her decision and unexpected.
“This resignation was sudden and came as a surprise to County management,” said Stephanie Brown, Commissioner of Division of Health and Family Services. “As a result, we are immediately commencing a search for an acting administrator. Until then, I will work directly with the Care Center's existing leadership to ensure our operations continue.”
The Care Center has been at the center of a tense debate over the past few weeks, as the county's proposal to sell it to a private operator has been met with swift criticism by some staff and members of the public.
A vote on transferring the Care Center to a Local Development Corporation to begin the process of sale is currently on hold by the Sullivan County Legislature.
Legislature Chairman Rob Doherty has said the center lost approximately $6 million last year.
Meanwhile, other legislators believe the center can be turned around and should remain county-owned.

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