Essex County Board of Supervisors
The sale of the Horace Nye Nursing Home to the Bronx-based Centers for Specialty Care (CSC) was delayed again last week as the parties continued to negotiate a resolution to an issue involving the septic system and sewage pits as a result of the detection of some contaminants, county attorney Daniel Manning told lawmakers at their full board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6.
Manning said the facility’s septic tank drains into 13 seepage pits ranging in volume from 2,500 to 5,000 gallons. Sometimes solid sediments go into the pits and collect, he explained, and CSC needs assurance that the groundwater hasn’t been contaminated by these sediments, most of which are medical byproducts.
The county is currently discussing what needs to be done and the options for moving forward. A resolution was passed at the meeting Feb. 6 setting aside $75,000 from the sale proceeds to pump out the pits if necessary, said Manning, something that officials hope can be done after the closing.
The board delegated County Manager Daniel Palmer and Chairman Randall Douglas the authority to determine what the county will agree to expend, but not exceed, $75,000.
“We’re hoping that everything can get solved this week,” said Douglas.
This marks the third time the sale has been delayed. The most recent closing date was set for Friday, Jan. 31.
Also discussed by the board was the county’s continued tweaking of a new electronic payroll system alongside a resolution to establish years of service thresholds for all elected and appointed county officials to determine their eligibility for retirement health insurance:
Officials elected or appointed prior to Jan. 1, 2009 will now require 10 years of service for their benefits to kick in; 15 years for those arriving after that date until January 1, 2013, after which the figure finalizes at 20 years.
On the public front, local author and Adirondack 46er Sandra Weber snowshoed 1.5 miles to the Essex County Government Center while suffering from a severe case of bronchitis to publicly thank North Hudson Supervisor Ronald Moore for his town’s resolution Dec. 30 to support the group’s ongoing efforts to rename the mountain East Dix to Grace Peak in honor of legendary Forty-Sixer Grace Hudowalski.
East Dix, located on the border of North Hudson and Keene, is the sixth-highest point in the High Peaks and is popular amongst nature enthusiasts for its sweeping views and its role as the gateway to four other High Peaks in the expansive Dix Range.
Hudowalski, who died in 2004, was the ninth person and first woman to climb all 46 High Peaks. Following her term as the club’s president from 1948-51, she served as their secretary and historian, penning thousands of inspirational letters to climbers and aspiring Forty-Sixers in the process.
North Hudson’s resolution of support marks a formality in the ongoing process, said Moore. The resolution will now be passed along to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Department of Conversation Commissioner Joe Martens, Senator Elizabeth Little and Assemblyman Daniel Stec for their consideration.
“Thank you, Mr. Moore, for embracing Grace and a legacy so much higher than any peak,” said Weber, who was wearing one of Hudowalski’s red-checkered hiking shirts. “Bless you, and as Grace would say, ‘good climbing.’”
Weber is confident that the United States Geological Survey, the agency ultimately responsible the decision to rename the mountain that was temporarily named for New York Secretary of State John Dix in 1837, would hand down a favorable verdict within the next six weeks.
Past efforts by the 46ers to rename mountains have been successful, including an effort to redub the former Mount Clinton in Newcomb as Mount Marshall after the Forty-Sixer co-founder’s premature death in 1939.
North Hudson’s resolution and Weber’s speech mark a particularly fecund time for all-things Hudowalski. Items from the Grace Hudowalski collection are currently on loan to the Adirondack History Center Museum for an upcoming exhibition and the Eighth Annual Grace Hudowalski Essay Contest, a student contest designed to increase knowledge and awareness of the history and environmental issues in and around the towns of Schroon and North Hudson, is currently underway and is scheduled to run until Tuesday, April 29.