Willow Point Nursing Home needs to upgrade its sprinkler system.
It needs to do so by mid-August to meet federal regulations or the county will be fined. It's expected to be an expensive and complicated process. One of the challenges is moving 60 residents at a time to different parts of the building while work is underway. The county is bringing back Steve Reagan, who is the former nursing home's administrator, to help coordinate the process. That move brought scrutiny by Democrats.
Jason Garnar wanted to know why the current administrator can't handle the project, in addition to regular duties. He also doesn't like that Reagan, who took a retirement incentive last year, is being brought back to consult for the county. He could earn up to $30,000.
Deputy County Executive, Bijoy Datta, says the extra help is needed because of the magnitude of the project. "The other piece that Steve is going to tackle is the relationship with Vestal Park Nursing Center, which as you probably know, we still have 54 residents that we took from them when the flood of 2011 happened. So, we still have additional challenge of moving those 54 people around the building."
The federal mandate to upgrade the sprinkler system was put in place back in 2006. However, the county held off on doing the project because of the possibility that a new nursing home would be built. The sprinkler upgrade has now been put out to bid.