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Celeste Beeman of Port Henry, a certified nurse's assistant at Horace Nye, protests the potential sale outside the Essex County Courthouse.Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Celeste Beeman of Port Henry, a certified nurse's assistant at Horace Nye, protests the potential sale outside the Essex County Courthouse.Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Nursing home employees protest privatization

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The debate over whether to privatize Essex County's Horace Nye Nursing Home continued this week, as employees of the facility took to the streets in front of the Essex County Courthouse in Elizabethtown to protest the potential sale.

The county has received bids from three interested parties in New York state, all for $4 million. County lawmakers asked those three groups to submit their best and final offers in hopes of getting more money for the nursing home. As Chris Morris reports, the potential sale continues to be a divisive issue in Essex County.

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Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

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Celeste Beeman of Port Henry has worked as a certified nurse's assistant at Horace Nye for more than two decades.

Standing alongside other employees on Monday outside the county courthouse, she said the public needs to make their voices heard before supervisors make the final call on whether to sell the nursing home.

“The message is that we need to get the public involved to save Horace Nye from being privatized,” Beeman said. “Private care is nothing compared to the care we provide at Horace Nye.”

Meanwhile, inside the courthouse, debate over the potential sale raged on.

Moriah town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is an adamant and vocal supporter of the nursing home. He accused the county’s Board of Supervisors of skirting the legislative process in order to seek more money from the three bidders.

“Isn’t that a wee bit improper?” Scozzafava asked. “How do you go out and request bids when the board hasn’t approved to go out and request bids? Now, it’s my understanding that we have already received their best and final offer prior to this resolution being adopted by the board.”

Supervisors approved the resolution to solicit additional bids for the nursing home.

Randy Douglas chairs the county board and supports selling the facility. He tried to downplay Scozzafava’s concerns by noting that the bids haven’t been reviewed or accepted, and won’t be until April 9.

“This is only a positive thing because it’s more money that we’re going to receive,” Douglas said. “It doesn’t mean we have accepted the bids yet we haven’t accepted them yet.”

Marcus and Millichap, a real estate investment firm out of Chicago, has been enlisted by the county to help with the possible sale.

That group will be paid a commission of close to $140,000 whether the sales go through or not.

Supervisors like North Elba’s Roby Politi continue to insist that the county sell Horace Nye. The home operates at an annual loss of two to three million dollars.

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