Yates considers home health agency sale
YATES COUNTY—The Yates County Legislators continued discussion of possibly selling operation of the Yates County Home Health Agency, during the Monday, April 11, meeting.
The legislature voted in March to seek Requests for Proposals about the sale of the home health agency’s operating certificate. Legislature chairman Taylor Fitch said, “The legislature has made no decision. We are just looking into it. Yates County has one of the best organized, disciplined and caring agencies in the state.” During the legislature meeting on April 11, Yates County resident Anne Marie Flanagan spoke about her concerns with the possible sale.
Flanagan said the biggest advantage for the sale would be a one time cash deal. However, she said the one time deal may end up costing the county more later in the future. Ontario County found they did not have enough nurses to cover clinics last year. Flanagan said, “Yates County does not turn people away. These are your civil servants. They signed on to serve this community.”
Following the meeting, County Administrator Sarah Purdy spoke about the agency. She said, “The reason the county is even considering the sale of the operating certificate is due to reductions in state aid for reimbursement.” New budget cuts in the second half of the year total $68,000. Purdy said, “When faced with a loss of state aid it’s pretty daunting to put it on the backs of taxpayers.” A tax cap which as been approved by the state senate is two percent or the rate of inflation, whatever is less. The rate of inflation is currently one percent. Purdy said Yates County could only increase the tax levy by $124,000 if the legislation is passed. The county would have to override the tax cap to keep the home health agency. If the certificate of operation was sold, only home health care would be impacted.
Services that would remain intact include Rabies Clinics, Early Intervention Services, Well Child Visits, Child Safety Seat Inspections, All Communicable Disease Work, and Public Health Education Programs. Also remaining would be the Lead Program, Immunization Programs for adults and children, Transitional Case Management, Cancer Screenings, Preventive Services for families, Emergency Planning including Pandemic and Bioterrorism, and Emergency Medical Services coordination. Purdy said, “I think the problems of the state are being forced down the throats of counties and school districts.”
In other business: Agreed to apply for a Community Development Block Grant. Yates County Planner Shawna Bonshak told legislators the grant would assist first time home buyers and home rehabilitation. The county has received three such grants for a total of $1.74 million. Bonshak said 83 households were impacted by those grants. The maximum grant available is $750,000. This would provide funds for rehabilitation and purchase of up to 33 homes.
• Adopted a tourism funding procedure for allocating Occupancy Tax funds to tourism activities.
• Accepted the bid of $130,000 from Land and Sea Properties for approximately 10 acres of county-owned property on Old Bath Road in the town of Milo.
• Authorized implementation and funding for replacement of a bridge on Old East Lake Road over a tributary to Keuka Lake in Milo. The project is eligible for funding at 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent non-federal funds. The sum of $125,000 was appropriated to cover the cost of participation in the project.
• Legislators authorized the highway superintendent to hire summer help. Legislator Richard Willson voted no. Following the meeting, Willson said he feels controlling costs has to start somewhere. He is concerned about other expenses the county is facing. Some are connected with routine maintenance of facilities.
• Legislators approved requests for home rule legislation to renew the additional county recording tax on mortgages. Home rule was also sought to extend imposition of additional sales tax. Legislator Douglas Paddock emphasized both resolutions were connected to maintaining taxes already in place.
• Authorized Sheriff Ron Spike to apply for Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee funding for a traffic safety awareness program geared toward the Amish and Mennonite community.
• Recognized Deputy Sheriff Chad Betts who was honored by Johnson Costello Post 355 American Legion as Yates County Sheriff’s Officer of the Year.
• Acknowledged the retirement of Sheriff’s K-9 Orry. The German Shepherd assigned to Deputy Sheriff Brian Winslow has performed law enforcement services since 2003. His ownership was transferred to Winslow.
• David Granzin was appointed to the Yates County Planning Board to represent the town of Torrey. His term will end on April 11, 2013.
• Matthew Dean was appointed to the Yates County Community Services Board, Developmental Disabilities Sub Committee for a term ending Dec. 31, 2014.
The next meeting of the Yates County Legislature will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 9.