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Broome County Legislature to vote on consulting contract for Willow Point Nursing Home

Willow point contract Web

UPDATE 2/17/22 8:00 P.M: The Broome County Legislature has decided to table the vote until next month. In the meantime, a "Committee of the Whole" will be established to discuss the contract and gather more information.

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — The Broome County Legislature is considering a contract with a large health care provider to help with managing finances and staffing at Willow Point Nursing Home. The Legislature is scheduled to vote on the agreement Thursday.

The agreement has prompted some questions among legislators.

The $3.3 million contract would be with Centers for Care, which owns nursing homes across the state. For four years, Centers for Care would help with staff and billing issues at Willow Point.

The contract would also let the company buy the nursing home for $7 million, if the county decides to sell it in the future.

If the Legislature votes down the contract, the county could lose Willow Point’s administrator, Adam Aranov. Aranov has only been there for about a month. Before that he was an administrator for a Centers for Care facility in Steuben County.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said when the previous administrator left Willow Point in January, the county struggled to find a replacement.

“We were looking at potentially having to close, because you can't run a skilled nursing facility without a licensed nursing administrator, and we did not have a single application for that job when we put it out,” Garnar said.

The county had already been discussing a consulting contract with Centers for Care at that point. When the county couldn’t find a new administrator for Willow Point, Centers for Care sent Aranov to fill the position.

“Centers provided us with an administrator so we could keep the home open. But if for some reason this contract doesn't pass, that we don't have a relationship with Centers where they're consulting with us, that we don't have any formal agreement, I expect that he would go back to his other facility,” Garnar said.

Garnar added that county legislators knew that if this contract didn't pass, Aranov would leave. But Legislator Jason Shaw said the legislators were not aware of the connection to Centers for Care.

“I’m not saying that he couldn’t have decided to move on on his own…but I had no idea that the corporation was calling him back,” Shaw said.

Shaw is also worried about possibly selling the nursing home for $7 million, without an outside assessment of its value.

“I think that with a purchase this large, we should have an official estimate, or at least a range for what it's worth. We don't have an outside assessment of the value,” Shaw said.

Shaw thinks the Legislature should take more time to study the issue. Garnar said the situation is an emergency, given severe staffing shortages and financial loss. He said the decision should be made as quickly as possible, so the facility can remain open.