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Wayne Post
  • Nursing home move won’t eliminate subsidy

  • A new contract at the Wayne County Nursing Home will eliminate 74 positions and help reduce the county’s subsidy to the facility, but it doesn’t bridge the gap.

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  • A new contract at the Wayne County Nursing Home will eliminate 74 positions and help reduce the county’s subsidy to the facility, but it doesn’t bridge the gap.
    The Board of Supervisors last week approved a contract with SODEXO Senior Living for food and nutrition, housekeeping and maintenance services for $3,255,645 in the first year and $3,339,625 in the second year. The contract includes an additional one-year renewal that was part of the firm’s bid.
    The newly approved contract will result in the elimination of 74 positions while saving the county $888,851 in expenses a year. The county has been subsidizing the nursing home for some time now and anticipates providing $1,522,084 from the general fund to assist the facility for 2013. The subsidy is also expected to increase next year. County Administrator James Marquette said the savings will reduce the growth of the anticipated subsidy next year, but it won’t make it go away.
    But not all supervisors believe the county will truly see any savings.
    Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino said the positions cut are probably the lowest paying jobs in the county. Those employees will collect unemployment paid by the county and some may very well need to seek help from the Department of Social Services. In the end, Colacino questions what the county really gains.
    “I feel bad we have to lose 74 jobs,” he said. “I don’t think we really had to. I would rather cut 3 percent on everyone’s salaries.”
    Colacino said staff had made offers to give up sick time and pay to spare jobs.
    What’s more, the bid from SODEXO was the only one received after the county issued requests for proposals to reduce expenses at the nursing home. Colacino said the company even gave the county a time limit to accept the offer.
    “I don’t like that,” Colacino said. “They should’ve extended it. There might have been some other way to do it. There was no rush to do this.”
    Nursing Home Administrator Margaret Haroff has been tasked with finding ways to cut costs at the facility. In January, supervisors approved a resolution to prepare a request for qualifications for professional assistance in marketing and selling the Wayne County Nursing Home. Marquette said the board has yet to issue the request.
    Services under the new contract will begin in June. Marquette said there has been no resolution to date to officially eliminate the positions, but the employees are well aware of contract’s implications.
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