ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County is prepping workers for the upcoming transfer of Horace Nye Nursing Home to private hands.
County Personnel Officer Monica Feeley said she’s been meeting with staff at the home, which will be sold to Centers for Specialty Care of the Bronx for $4 million.
“I did a letter to all employees of Horace Nye Home. It gave a idea of what their benefits and options are at the time of the sale. There were a lot of rumors that were incorrect.”
It will be at least several months before the transfer is complete, county officials said.
Feeley said she also attended two separate mandatory training meetings at Horace Nye.
“I went over to answer questions. Overall, it was very well received. A lot of the misunderstandings as to benefits and retirements (cleared up).”
Word had been circulating that workers wouldn't be able to retire if they qualified, or they'd lose seniority if they took a job in another county department. The current retirement is under the state system, Feeley said, and could even be transferred to another job in local government.
Feeley said she discussed Civil Service tests for other jobs in county service for those who want to stay with the county.
“I think it went very well. It’s a start. I said, ‘Please come up and see us before you make a rash decision (to leave).’”
Supervisor Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield) said Feeley’s letter explained the process well at Monday's Essex County Board of Supervisors meeting.
“There were a lot of misconceptions over there,” Morrow said. “It (the letter) clarified a lot.”
The home has about 150 full- and part-time employees, many of whom belong to the Civil Service Employees Association union.
Nursing Home Administrator Deborah Gifford said they’re working on a timetable for transfer of ownership.
“We’re on schedule. Everything is working very smoothly. We will need budget adjustments as we progress.”
She said a collection agency is handling patients’ past-due accounts before the transfer is official.
“We are asking for payment” from private-pay patients in arrears.
She said they spent $3,685 for attorney fees but have collected about $12,000 so far.
Gifford said the firm charges $250 an hour, and its bill is based on hours incurred.
The county put the 100-bed Horace Nye facility on the market after it lost more than $2 million last year.
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