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Westmount sale controversy erupts again — over potential re-vote

Warren County Supervisor Mark Westcott of Queensbury holds up a chart detailing the financial losses of  the cogeneration operation at the county-owned Westmount Nursing Home. Westcott and fellow supervisor Doug Beaty (immediately behind Westcott) have questioned the terms of the proposed sale of the home to Specialty Care Group of Manhattan. Discussion on the sale — and perhaps a vote on the issue — is planned for 9 a.m. May 7 in the county Municipal Center.

Warren County Supervisor Mark Westcott of Queensbury holds up a chart detailing the financial losses of the cogeneration operation at the county-owned Westmount Nursing Home. Westcott and fellow supervisor Doug Beaty (immediately behind Westcott) have questioned the terms of the proposed sale of the home to Specialty Care Group of Manhattan. Discussion on the sale — and perhaps a vote on the issue — is planned for 9 a.m. May 7 in the county Municipal Center. Photo by Thom Randall.

— With a potential re-vote approaching on whether to proceed with the sale of Warren County’s Westmount nursing home, two opponents of the pending sale have scheduled a public meeting to present their concerns. The meeting is to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday May 1 in the Community Room at Crandall Library, Glen St., downtown Glens Falls.

This “Town Hall” meeting is sponsored by Queensbury supervisors-at-large Mark Westcott and Doug Beaty, who have been critical of the proposal by Warren County Board of Supervisors to sell the home and its cogeneration operation to Specialty Care Group of Manhattan.

Beaty and Westcott have questioned the bid and negotiation processes, as well as the price of Specialty Care’s pending offer. They’ve also been critical of selling the money-losing cogeneration operation along with the nursing home, citing that doing so may be depressing the sale price. They’ve also contended that a purchase offer received from Fort Hudson Health Systems of Fort Edward — a trusted local enterprise which employs many people from Warren and Washington counties — may not have been appropriately pursued.

At a Board of Supervisors meeting April 18, questions raised by Beaty, Westcott and several others prompted the board to vote “No” by a weighted vote of 501 to 499 on a motion to proceed with the planned sale to Specialty Care. This proposed sale involved the county guaranteeing reimbursement for cogeneration costs from the state — a provision that could cost county taxpayers up to $1.26 million over the next seven years.

Two supervisors believed to be supportive of the sale, however, were not present for the vote. Since then, county leaders have scheduled a special board of supervisors meeting at 9 a.m. May 7, and a discussion on the Westmount sale is on the agenda. County officials said April 29 that a re-vote on proceeding with the sale could occur at the meeting.

This week, Westcott circulated an email noting that he was unable to attend the May 7 meeting, and he and Beaty objected to the meeting scheduled at that time, noting that all supervisors should have the opportunity to vote on the issue.

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