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Valley Health Services withdraws interest in acquiring Country Manor

HERKIMER, N.Y. - CEO and Administrator of Valley Health Services Lisa Betrus announced that Valley Health Services (VHS) is withdrawing its interest in acquiring the county owned Country Manor building, but are still working towards bringing assisted living services to the area.

In addition to the previously discussed issues surrounding the sale of the Manor to VHS, analysis of the site conducted by VHS as part of the due diligence assessment indicates that the project is cost prohibitive as planned on the Country Manor site.

Betrus stated, “Unfortunately, the age of the building and structural issues identified, including extensive asbestos removal and lack of affordable energy options, prohibit us from moving the project forward at that site with the funds currently allocated.” Betrus further explained that, “The original agreement with the county called for Valley Health Services to conduct site and structural assessments to ensure project viability. From the beginning there was concern that the age of the building and lack of available energy options like natural gas would be stumbling blocks to the renovations needed to convert the facility to an assisted living residence.”
The proposed plan creates one and two-bedroom studio-apartment-like units. Each unit would contain a private bathroom specifically designed to serve older individuals with limited financial resources who are in need of assistive support to maintain their independence. A large social room, beauty salon/barber shop, dining room, library, and inside and outside social areas are all addressed in the project.
“The focus of this project has always been to provide an assisted living program for adults in the community and fill an existing gap in long-term care services. Valley Health remains committed to this goal and is exploring other options to bring the project to fruition. We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the county in addressing the needs of Country Manor residents.” Betrus concluded.

“We are thankful for the efforts put forth by Valley Health Services as we attempt to find a solution to the care of the residents of the Country Manor”, stated Ray Smith, Chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature. “We believe there is value in continuing our relationship with Valley Health Services as we work toward a permanent solution for the citizens of Herkimer County.”

"They did their due diligence," said Herkimer County Administrator James Wallace. "They got a construction report back on what it would be to renovate their facility and for them it just did not make sense to move forward financially. It had nothing to do with local laws."

The Herkimer County Legislature will meet Wednesday to discuss the issue. A public hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the issue has been canceled.

Wallace said the legislature is still looking at future options with Valley Health Services to bring assisted living services to the area and that there are still options on the table.

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