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Legislature to take up sale of home health care certificate

by jmaloni
Wed, Jan 18th 2012 11:30 pm

Catholic Health bid would likely net $2.65 million for taxpayers, eliminate costly program

Niagara County lawmakers will review and act on a recommendation by County Manager Jeffrey M. Glatz and Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton to sell the county's home health care certificate to Catholic Health at a committee meeting next week.

The proposal from Glatz and Stapleton, which has been endorsed by Community Services Committee Chairman Tony Nemi, I-Lockport/Pendleton, would net Niagara County's taxpayers $2.65 million, including an immediate down payment of $795,000.

"The first concern for the Legislature has been, and remains, continuing to provide Niagara County's citizens with the quality of care they deserve and are accustomed to," Nemi said on endorsing Glatz's proposal. "Of equal importance, though, is meeting the legal requirement to sell a county asset - our operating license - to the highest bidder. Catholic Health is that bidder."

Nemi praised Glatz and Stapleton, noting the duo had worked hard to winnow five initial bids down to two strong competitors. He also noted that several county lawmakers had very actively followed the process, and praised their willingness to put in long hours reviewing proposals and speaking with representatives of the two companies.

"The ad hoc committee that reviewed these proposals was very impressed with the two top bidders," Nemi said. "But, it's clear that Catholic Health is offering the taxpayers of Niagara County the best value here."

Nemi said he will reach out to representatives of Catholic Health and the Visiting Nurses Association/Kaleida Health, which bid $150,000 less than Catholic Health to purchase the county's license, and invite them to attend a joint Jan. 24 meeting of his Community Services Committee and the Legislature's Administration Committee.

"I'm aware that one or two legislators don't seem to have a firm grasp of this issue, and wanted to give them an opportunity to speak with the bidders," Nemi said.

The committees' final recommendations will be forwarded to the full Legislature, which will act on the recommendation Feb. 7.

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