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Executive bemoans lack of action

Nursing home discussion creeps forwards as word of second bidder emerges

— Debate within the Albany County Legislature on the future of the Albany County Nursing Home seems to be slowing down, and that has Albany County Executive Dan McCoy frustrated.

“Every time they delay it, it’s $1 million savings that the taxpayers of Albany County lose,” he said. “This is about our seniors, and our taxpayers. This is the hardest decision hopefully I’ll have to make as county executive, but it’s something that continues our core mission for our seniors.”

McCoy is hoping the legislature will approve a deal to lease the nursing home to private firm Upstate Service Group. The 10-year lease could save the county more than $100 million, he said. However, progress has stalled as of Monday, Feb. 11, when the Albany County Legislature passed a resolution by a vote of 19-17 asking the county to hire an outside consultant to review the deal with USG.

The following day, McCoy released a statement explaining he has already had an outside consultant looking at the deal for months, a fact many legislators and Legislature Chairman Shawn Morse were not aware of.

“I don’t know anything about the outside consultant.” Morse said, “I think … the legislature cannot afford to make its decision based on what we’re hearing. We have to make sure we base our decision on facts. We want to make the right decision.”

In his statement, McCoy said he has been working with Peter Millock of Nixon Peabody as an outside counsel.

“He has brought enormous experience to this process including 15 years as general counsel at the Department of Health,” McCoy said in the statement. “I am confident the team made up of my executive staff, with the guidance and expertise of Millock has placed the county in the best position possible.”

Although some legislators said they weren’t aware of McCoy’s outside consultant, McCoy said he “wasn’t hiding it.”

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