Following news this week that the Town of Brookhaven's zoning board of appeals blocked the permit needed to sell the county nursing home to a private operator, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone pledged to react quickly.
According to Newsday, Brookhaven hasn't explained why it denied the zoning change for the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank. Bellone said the county could either challenge the town's decision or perhaps close the 264-bed nursing home altogether.
Suffolk Legislators voted in September 2012 to sell the nursing home to private nursing home operators Sam and Israel Sherman for $23 million, a move that would save the county about $30 million when factoring in the nursing home's $10 million annual loss with the sale price. The Shermans run 13 nursing homes in the state.
Since the county is exempt from town zoning rules it did not have to petition Brookhaven for a zone change while it ran the facility. But the new owners would need the zoning changed.
"This is a completely political decision that will cost taxpayers a million dollars a month if it's allowed to stand," Bellone told Newsday.
Suffolk County is thinking about selling the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge and then leasing it back for 15 years, Long Island Business News reported this week.
The county could sell the building to The Judicial Facilities Agency, an agency created to carry out these kinds of sale-and-leasebacks. The move could net the county an extra $70 million towards trimming its $300 million budget deficit.