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September 12, 2013

More groups interested in Manor purchase

By Joe Mahoney The Daily Star
Cooperstown Crier

---- — The number of potential suitors for the Otsego Manor nursing home has grown to 10, according to Otsego County officials.

In the past two weeks, four more entities have submitted letters of interest to the local development corporation created by the county Board of Representatives to handle the marketing and sale of the 174-bed county-owned facility just south of Cooperstown.

Those firms join the six companies that had already signaled they are interested in the possibility of acquiring the financially-distressed Manor.

The latest companies to get in position for submitting proposals for the nursing home include Focus Ventures LLC, whose properties include Focus Rehab and Nursing in Utica. The company’s website states that “the Focus team provides highly professionalized and compassionate care to our residents. We pride ourselves on providing a true ‘home’ environment, where residents can live, enjoy, and receive the medical attention they need to thrive.”

Representatives of another company, Personal Health Care, which is based in Tarrytown, are scheduled to inspect the Manor grounds this week, said Rep. Katherine Stuligross, D-Oneonta, the chairwoman of the Otsego Health Facilities Corp., the local development corporation.

The two other firms to express interest recently in the Manor are Absolute Care Facilities, of East Aurora, and Diamond Hill, which operates nursing homes in Troy and Niskayuna, Stuligross said.

She and acting County Treasurer Henry “Russ” Bachman said the fact there are now 10 firms interested in the Manor — one of them is Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown — bodes well for the county’s hope to find a top-quality, financially-stable company to take charge at the nursing home.

Maureen Culbert of Springfield, a Manor volunteer who had sought to rally public opposition to the county’s plan to privatize the Manor, said the increase in firms interested in buying the facility boosts the chances that quality health care will be maintained once it is sold.

“Making sure they can provide excellent care is the most important piece of this whole thing,” said Culbert.

The firms have not yet filed formal proposals detailing what they are willing to pay for the nursing home complex, Stuligross said. The deadline for those submissions is Sept. 27.