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Westmount nursing home

The sign in front of Warren County’s former Westmount nursing home in Queensbury, which was sold by the county in 2015 to Centers Health Care.

Westmount Health Facility is expected to become a privately owned nursing home by the end of the month.

The closing of the $2.3 million sale is scheduled to take place Dec. 31.

Warren County Administrator Paul Dusek said said Centers Health Care, the New York City company buying the 80-bed home, had all of its permits in place as of Friday.

“The hope is it will be under new management by January 1,” Dusek said.

The sale news was released Friday, as supervisors squabbled over revenue figures that some said were hurt by the delay of the sale.

Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Matt Sokol said that delays of the sale, which was initially supposed to occur in late spring, cost the county $915,265, money that could have been used as the county tries to figure out a way to pay for its share of funding for a building project at SUNY Adirondack.

A group that has opposed Centers Health Care’s efforts had sought a referendum for the sale, and that effort resulted in the company withdrawing its state application for several weeks.

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Sokol’s comment drew the ire of several supervisors and audience members, who questioned that figure.

Glens Falls 2nd Ward Supervisor Peter McDevitt said those who claim that the sale was delayed by opponents were “grasping at straws,” while Queensbury at-Large Supervisor Doug Beaty said the financial figure was “not accurate.”

Sokol, who chairs the county board’s Health Services Committee, handed out a breakdown of the costs, though many of them seem to be costs that would have been incurred no matter how long the sale took, such as $204,060 in unemployment insurance costs for unspecified “layoffs,” $263,642 in retiree “hospitalization” costs, $132,404 in leave time payout to employees and $82,000 to the Glens Falls law firm Bartlett, Pontiff Stewart & Rhodes.

Queensbury resident Travis Whitehead, an opponent of the sale to Centers Health Care, also questioned the accuracy of that figure.

Sokol said Monday that the numbers were put together by the county administrator’s office. Assistant County Administrator Joanne McKinstry acknowledged Monday that some of the costs would have occurred no matter when the sale happened. But she said some, such as a portion of the legal bills, would not have.

Whitehead said the sale of Westmount took about as long as it took for Essex County to sell its home to Centers Health Care. And at least part of the delay was attributed to Centers switching the company executive who would head the limited liability company that will operate Westmount, he added.

The county is selling the home because it has been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Centers Health Care has also purchased nursing homes that were operated by Washington, Essex and Fulton counties.

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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