If Auburn Community Hospital is ready, willing and able to purchase the former Cayuga County Nursing Home, we hope that an agreement can be made in short order.
The Ways and Means Committee of the county Legislature on Tuesday discussed a proposal to sell the County House Road, Sennett, property to the hospital for $500,000. The building had been vacant since 2015 before ACH recently began using it as a respiratory clinic to isolate patients who might have been exposed to COVID-19.
There have been thoughts and plans in the past about what might be done with the building. ACH had proposed relocating its skilled nursing facility there, which would open up more space in Auburn for its occupational and physical therapy programs, a drug rehabilitation center and additional office space for doctors, but was unable to secure the millions of dollars in needed funding to see it through. Another plan would establish emergency shelter for homeless people at the site.
The only snag this time may have been a simple matter of timing, as members of the Ways and Means Committee declined to vote on the sale because the plan was presented at the same time as the vote, meaning that nobody really had time to look it over. At this point, the transaction will likely be discussed — and voted on — at the next full Legislature meeting on May 26.
According to the resolution the Legislature will consider, ACH made an offer of $500,000 that was approved by the county after separate appraisals by each party.
Selling the nursing home would take the property off the hands of county taxpayers, who have been bearing the cost of maintaining a vacant building for the past five years, and position ACH to expand its health care offerings for the benefit of the entire community, so we hope that a deal can finally be reached.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Michelle Bowers, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.