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November 7, 2013

Bassett, four more bids in contention for Manor

(Continued)

Bassett’s facilities were not visited because its portfolio consists mainly of medical clinics, Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, A.O. Fox Hospital in Oneonta and Cobleskill Regional Hospital.

The companies that made the cut will be sent questionnaires asking them for specific financial reports and more details about their plans for the Manor.

The Healthcare Facilities Corp. will meet again on Nov. 14 to discuss the proposals and the companies making them. That session is expected to be held in executive session, or closed to the public, because it will involve contract negotiations.

Stuligross noted that the corporation has not ruled out the possibility of asking the bidders to revise their proposals.

Rep. Don Lindberg, R-Worcester, a member of the local development corporation’s board, said the county owes approximately $15 million on the bond for building the nursing home, and an additional $6 million in interest, once the next payment on the note is made later this month.

Both amounts must be paid off in full, Lindberg said, pointing out that the interest on the bond is different than the finance charges on a mortgage, which end once the balance is paid off in full.

Whether the county comes close to garnering the full amount it owes for the nursing home remains to be seen, he said.

A proposed county budget for 2014, as outlined by Treasurer Dan Crowell last week, would set the county subsidy for the Manor next year at about $4.3 million. The nursing home has had to rely more and more on infusions of cash from the county treasury as the reimbursement rates for federal health care programs have declined and other costs such as pension obligations and employee wages have risen.

Lindberg said he is optimistic that the financial bumps faced by the Manor will end once it is sold to a private operator.

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