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Herkimer County lawmakers discuss Country Manor's future

By By PAT BAILEY

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Lawmakers in Herkimer County once again discussed the possibility of Valley Health Services in Herkimer taking over the Country Manor facility. However, it's not just that possibility of a sale that has lawmakers upset.

The Superintendent of Country Manor says rumors are flying that the take over will happen, but she hopes they aren't true. The facility is a publicly-funded place where low income seniors reside.

"There is really little to-no information about plans, because the legislators do not have it," said Theresa Grescheck, the superintendent of Country Manor. "I don't know. But once that is clarified, it would be a benefit to have it - a public facility."

It all started back in June, when Raymond Smith, the chairman of the Herkimer County Board of Legislators, along with a few other select county officials met with Valley Health Services. The chairman says that meeting only spurred discussion, no proposal.

"We have not negotiated the final documents of any kind," Smith said.

Some legislators are upset about that June meeting - some claiming a deal was, in fact, made, but kept quiet. Legislator Helen Rose says some legislators believe they have more power than others on this matter.

"To continue to feed that kind of process does a disservice to the tax payers of our community and it does disservice to the residents and it does a disservice to the employees and I ask that you please stop," said Rose very loudly during Wednesday's legislature meeting.

Smith says no back door deal was ever reached, and the only reason the initial meeting was kept quiet was to appease a private business - Valley Health Services.

Since June, Valley Health Services received a $4 million grant to help with a possible take over of Country Manor.

Legislators could vote on the sale as early as two weeks.

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