NEW CITY – Rockland County Executive Edwin Day unveiled his proposed county budget for next year on Thursday. It includes closure of the Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Care Center.
His $723 million budget does not fall under the state’s tax cap, which Day attributed to the derailment of the sale of the Summit Park nursing home facilities because the prospective buyers pulled out of the deal at the last moment, said Day.
“That pretty much obliterated any chance we had of getting under the cap with that last minute change, but the good news is we are able to utilize some one-shot revenues for that particular purpose since the cost of closing, to a great degree, are one-shot situations,” the county exec said.
In order to finance the operations of the county and keep the tax increase to an average of $4 per month – that’s a 4.95 percent increase – a total of 326 jobs will be eliminated.
The budget includes cutting all 13 security positions in the Department of General Services and placing them under the jurisdiction of the sheriff. The budget also includes the transfer of the existing medical services and eight full-time positions from Summit Park Hospital to the sheriff’s office. Included are 13 new positions to meet the requirements of the state Department of Corrections. That move essentially builds a new unit in the sheriff’s office, which will be fully funding.
As a result of the closure of Summit Park, Day is calling for the sale of the Sain Building in New City to generate $4 million and transforming the 10-story hospital and nursing home building for county office space.
Day expects “a good number of employees” to take advantage of an early retirement incentive, which would save the county $2.5 million.
“This is a responsible fiscal plan that begins the historic redesign of county operations,” said Day. “Our goal is to create an affordable government. We’ve made the hard choices to set our county on a path to prosperity.”
CSEA regional president Billy Riccaldo said he was “appalled” that Day was moving forward to shut down Summit Park. He said Day self-imposed a deadline of September 30 with Sympaticare to transfer the nursing home. “It would have been in everyone’s best interest for him to do everything possible to accommodate Sympaticare’s requests and allow for a smooth sale.”