Essex County Clerk to the Board Deborah Palmer, left, looks over the petition given to the board by Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava against the sale of the Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to install a new sprinkler system at the Horace Nye Nursing Home.
Board members voted during the May 7 monthly meeting to accept an offer of $397,600 for the sprinkler system from Albany Fire Protection in Watervliet, deciding to pay for the project with unexpended fund balance.
County Manager Daniel Palmer said that the board had to make a decision on the matter and could not wait to find out about the future of the Horace Nye Nursing Home as a county entity.
“We are under the gun from the inspector who says that we have to either add the sprinklers or replace the tiles,” Palmer said.
Installing the sprinklers will allow the county to not install fireproof ceiling tiles in Building 1 of the facility.
Supervisors agreed that they should use fund balance instead of borrowing for the project, to which Palmer agreed.
“Let us take it from the fund balance,” St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency said.
“We have way more than this in fund balance, so I would suggest taking it in fund balance,” Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said.
Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch was the lone vote against the resolution.
“We're selling it and we have to make this repair,” Hatch said. “We are trying to sell this as is, and now we are going to add to the value of the building.”
“We haven't sold the nursing home,” Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava quickly countered. “It has not come to a final vote and we still own this.”
“The federal inspector is not going to allow us to go that long,” Palmer said. “You are looking at another year if you do decide to sell, and this has to be done in two months.”
“This is a safety issue for the residents and a compliance issue for us,” Morrow said in support of the resolution.