A consultant has told the board it can expect to receive $6.5 million to $9.3 million, based on market values of similar skilled nursing centers.
During a public comment portion at Thursday morning’s commissioners meeting, Susie Barrick tearfully told the elected officials about her mother’s experiences both working at Falling Spring and now living there.
“It really upsets me what you’re doing. ... I’m just asking you to think this decision over because it’s my mom’s home,” Barrick said.
Public reaction offered during commissioners’ meetings and a specially scheduled session Tuesday evening has been largely opposed to the concept of selling Falling Spring. Individuals have expressed concerns about the future quality of care, effect on employees and the commitment to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Thomas, who participated in the meeting by telephone due to health problems, promised that the board won’t consider selling to a private entity that does not share its values.
Government sometimes needs to change to be efficient, Commissioner Robert Ziobrowski said.
“There may be a certain amount of redundancies in what we do operating a nursing home,” he said, referring to other similar places for residents.
Twenty-seven of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties still own and operate nursing homes, according to consultant Jay Wenger of Harrisburg, Pa.,-based Susquehanna Group Advisors.
Several, including neighboring Adams County, sold their nursing homes in recent years, Wenger said.
“The marketplace has evolved to where there are a lot of skilled providers,” he said.
The commissioners’ solicitor answered one of the public’s questions this week about putting the matter on ballots. She said the law prohibits a binding vote to that effect, and court cases have made a nonbinding question disallowed.
Prior to the commissioners’ unanimous vote, Allen Piper from taxpayer group Citizens for Responsible Government encouraged the board to take its time and hold additional hearings.
“I know the longer it goes, the more we are going to learn from each other,” he said.