Rockland County nursing home fire catalyst for shutting down Highland facility

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HIGHLAND – Safety issues at the Highland Assisted Living Center, which was closed by the state late last week, were nothing new, said Lloyd Town Supervisor Fred Pizzuto.

For some time there had been issue after issue ranging from covered electrical outlets and wiring issues to problems with heating ducts, he said.

Pizzuto said the horrific Spring Valley nursing home fire of months ago that claimed the life of a volunteer firefighter, apparently placed a spotlight on the Highland situation.

“There are two halves to this facility. There is the existing half, which has now been evacuated and the new part, which has never been opened because it has never gotten its permit to open,” he said. “They sent people up thinking they were going to stay here. The New York State and Ulster County Health Department turned them around because they didn’t have a permit to come up here and then because of that, the lenses opened up and here we are now with this facility being shut down.”

The operating permit for the Highland Assisted Living Center was suspended by the state for 60 days.