County Legislator, Luis Alvarez, says Sunset Lake is the best care center in the Hudson Valley. His wife has been there for over two years.
“The quality of service is what makes the person recover,” says Alvarez.
State Senator Jen Metzger is also concerned about the possibility of decreased quality of care if the county choses to sell.
“We’ve seen too many examples of nursing homes, once they’ve been privatized, you know they’ve cut costs and its often been at the expense of care,” says Senator Metzger.
Between sales tax declines and the recently adopted state budget, the county is projecting at least $10 million in losses.
Over the last two years, the county has lost an average of $3.5 million keeping the care center open.
While the pandemic is a factor in the sale, the county says they’ve been considering it since before COVID-19 hit.
“So it’s not just going to be who bids the highest dollar amount. They’re going to look at the track record of the private operator of taking over other facilities, their quality of care, their willingness and ability to retain as many employees as possible,” says Joshua Potosek, Sullivan County Manager.
Alvarez says in his 38 years serving the county, nothing compares to the compassion and dedication of the workers at Sunset Lake.
“The love, the dedication of the people that work there, they don’t say 'oh well, it’s my time to take a break,' no. ‘Well, it's my time to go home,’ no, they don’t say that. They’ll take care of the patient first and then go home. Even if it takes a little more out of their time to get things done, they are going to make sure that patient is being taken care of,” Alvarez said.
There will be a public hearing on the topic Thursday at 3pm at the Sullivan County Center.