Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone threatened to close the John J. Foley nursing home if a proposed deal to sell the facility is not approved soon.
Newsday reported that Bellone made the nursing home the main subject of his recent State-of-the-County address. Suffolk is currently spending $1 million a month to subsidize the 264-bed facility, while facing an estimated $80 million - $125 million deficit.
A proposed deal to sell the nursing home to Israel and Samuel Sherman for $23 million was narrowly approved by the county legislature, but has subsequently met several roadblocks.
Legis. Kate Browning, WF-Shirley, and Legis. John Kennedy Jr., R-Nesconset, worked with county employees to file a lawsuit to block the sale of nursing home.
Also, Brookhaven Town's Board of Zoning appeals in January denied a special permit the county needs to sell the facility to private owners.
Bellone called on opponents to find "common ground" with him, but did not indicate what action he was seeking during his speech. He previously suggested leasing the nursing home to the Shermans, which would allow the facility to continue operating while a permanent solution is found.
Suffolk gets approval to create land bank
The county received New York State approval to create a land bank that would potentially clean up 133 contaminated properties.
Newsday reports the county submitted its second application on Jan. 31 to the Empire State Development Corp. to create a nonprofit, after being denied in 2012. Suffolk officials filed this year's application with statements of support from various towns.
The nonprofit agency is aimed at improving the chances of selling Brownfield properties, like former landfills or gas stations. It will have the power to foreclose on tax-delinquent properties, seek grants for cleanup, and partner with interested business owners to rehabilitate the property and return it to the tax rolls.
Senior Citizen of the Year nominations sought
Bellone and the Senior Citizen Advisory Board are seeking nominations for the county's Senior Citizen of the Year. Deadline for submitting a nomination is March 14.
Candidates for the award should age 60 or older and individuals who have significantly contributed to seniors' lives in a meaningful and important way, such as serving as an advocate, leader or volunteer. Nominees must be a resident of Suffolk.
Nominations can be faxed to 631-853-8225 or mailed to: Senior Award; Suffolk County Office for the Aging; PO Box 6100; Hauppauge, NY 11788.
Federal, state, county or town employees who are engaged in providing services to senior citizens are not eligible for the award.