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Country Manor sale on hold

By By PAT BAILEY

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - In April, Herkimer County Lawmakers thought the sale of county owned Country Manor Adult Living, to privately owned Valley Health Services was complete. However, the legislature recently found out two unknown laws are holding back that sale.

The April vote to sell Country Manor passed by an 11-5 margin. However, Herkimer County Attorney, Robert Malone, says that vote needed to be passed by a two thirds majority, meaning 12 votes were needed.

Lawmakers also found another hurdle in who they could sell the property to. Malone says because Country Manor is currently offering services, the county must sell the business to the highest bidder. In order to sell the property to Valley Health Services, and not an outside highest bidder, the legislature will have to pass a local law.

In order to pass a local law the county must hold a public hearing on the matter, said Malone. That will be done August 11th, the same day the legislature plans on voting on the law change allowing the sale of Country Manor, Malone added.

If a simple majority of the legislature votes "yes" on August 11th, by law there will be a 45 day waiting period before the law takes effect. In that time someone could challenge the newly passed law by garnering enough signatures on a petition. If there is a challenge, the sale of Country Manor to Valley Health Services could be put up for a public vote.

Malone says the county has never sold a functioning business so the laws were all new to them. Most of the county owned properties that are sold are vacant, Malone said.

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