YAPHANK - According to independent auditors, if Suffolk County does not move forward with plans to sell a closed nursing facility in Yaphank, there will be an $11.2 million shortfall in the budget.
At one time, the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility cared for more than 250 people. But after a long battle, the county shut the facility down and it sat empty for two years.
"If we're able to find someone to purchase the building, the taxpayers won't take the hit," says Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider. "If we're not able to find someone to purchase the building, then the taxpayers take the hit and continue to pay for the ongoing maintenance expenses."
Leg. Kate Browning (WF - Shirley) claims Executive Steve Bellone's administration is not communicating with lawmakers on this issue. She says she had no knowledge of the auditor's findings and she is the legislator in this district.
Schneider says an email went out to the leadership of the county legislature to inform them of the situation. He says the email was also simply asking for updated policy guidance from the legislature on how to proceed.
Schneider says the county has just one offer on the table from private nursing home operator KG Enterprises to buy the Foley building. County officials told News 12 that there have been meetings with Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, but they have not received any formal proposal on a sale.
A deal needs to be made before the budget is unveiled in September.