WOODBURY - County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) largely focused on finances in his State of the County address tonight, and he named the Foley Nursing Home in Yaphank as a major drain on the county's coffers.
Bellone threatened to close the county-owned nursing home if opponents continue to block its sale. As News 12 Long Island has reported, Suffolk was counting on about $23 million to help plug its budget deficit by selling the facility to a private operator, but the sale has been blocked by a zoning board and a panel of health regulators.
"It is time for us to end this 25-year debate, and it is time for us to fulfill our obligation to protect the tax payers of this county," Bellone said in his speech. "If the sale of this facility continues to be blocked, we have no alternative but to close the facility."
The county executive also focused largely on storm recovery, the economy and public safety. He spoke about the need to assist homeowners in making their property more flood-resistant for future storms, and said how he plans to create an interagency partnership focused on attacking recidivism.
In the Republican response to Bellone's speech, Legislator John Kennedy said the GOP is willing to work with Bellone in a meaningful way, but he took Bellone's administration to task for "mismanagement" of the Foley facility.