The Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown.
As protesters honked, yelled and chanted in front of the Essex County Government Center March 25, the Ways and Means Committee passed a resolution asking three bidders to up their proposals.
The resolution was met with protest inside the county chambers, as some supervisors were concerned over the fact that the three bidders had already submitted their responses before a resolution was passed by a vote of 11-5, with two absent.
County Manager Daniel Palmer said that the new resolution for "best and final offers" would only be open to the firms that had submitted bids to the county: Centers for Specialty Care out of New York City; Gerald Woods CPA, out of Nassau County; and Elliot Management Group out of Rockland County, each of whom submitted a bid for the minimum purchase amount of $4 million.
"This will be open to the three that bid and we are going to ask for the best and final offer," Palmer said, adding that the offers have already come back.
"We went back to the broker (Marcus and Millichap) and said that we are looking for the best and final offer from the three bidders," Palmer said. "They went back to them and each has already responded to the broker."
"How do you go out and request bids when the board has not approved you going out to request bids," Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said. "We have a resolution that is going through Ways and Means and then through the full board, and now it is my understanding that we have already received their best and final offer before we have approved that process."
"It was a case where the cart got put before the horse, and sometimes that happens," County Attorney Daniel Manning said. "You pass this, it will be okay. If you do not pass this, then you will go off the $4 million bids."
Ways and Means Committee chair and North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi said that, while the bids have been received, they had not been officially reviewed or accepted.
"The bids have not been reviewed yet," Politi said. "We did not anticipate this happening. We wanted to get this resolution passed first."
"The bids have been received but they have not been accepted, so I do not have a problem with this," Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow said. "If the bids had been accepted, then there would be a problem."
"We have certainly done resolutions before where we knew it was going to happen between the time it passed committee and before it came to the Ways and Means or full board," county Chairman and Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said. "I think that this is a good thing because it means we are seeking more money."
When it came up for vote, Scozzafava was joined in voting against the resolution by Morrow, Sharon Boisen of Essex, Sue Montgomery-Corey of Minerva and Michael Marnell of Schroon Lake.
"I do not have a problem with the way this resolution is happening but honestly, everyone knows I am against the sale of the home, and this gives me a chance to say no again," Morrow said.
The committee placed an April 9 date on the bids, giving firms more time to update or add to their bids.
Palmer said that if the resolution were to fail, the county would be left to decide between the three equal $4 million bids.
During the meeting, protesters lined Main Street in Elizabethtown during the meeting, voicing their displeasure over the county's looking into the sale of the home.