Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef proposed the creation of a Local Development Corporation (LDC) to assist with the sale of the Summit Park Healthcare Facility. The LDC, named the Rockland County Health Facilities Corporation, would assume the ownership of Summit Park and be authorized to sell it to a third party.
Vanderhoef announced on Friday morning, “That we create a Rockland County Health Facilities Corporation, a separate corporation, a Local Development Corporation whose principal duty would be to take on the issue of the Summit Park Hospital.”
Vanderhoef said his proposal requires the agreement of the county legislature. He said he hoped the transfer to the LDC could be accomplished in 2013. Vanderhoef described the LDC as an interim step in the eventual sale of the financially ailing Summit Park Nursing Home and Hospital.
“This is solely within our power,” he said. “It’s the legislature and executive.”
The LDC’s board of directors would include three members appointed by the county executive and three appointed by the legislature. The LDC would be a not-for-profit and operated by the board, not the county executive or legislature.
Legislative Budget & Finance Committee Chair Ilan Schoenberger said he, Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell and Vice Chairman Alden Wolfe received details of the proposal on Thursday.
“It sounds like a plan that is workable and we will review in depth when we start our work in the Budget & Finance Committee,” said Schoenberger. “I understand this proposal to be a mechanism to expedite the sale/transfer of the nursing home. Then the LDC would be eliminated.”
Vanderhoef stated the county would continue to run Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Home even after the possible transfer to the LDC. The county would lease it back possibly for $1 a year. He asserted there would no changes in employee staffing. The current CSEA contract ends on Dec. 31, 2013.
As part of the transfer, Vanderhoef said, the county would receive some money. The LDC would borrow money against the value of Summit Park from private funds or a possible public bid. When Summit Park is eventually sold, the balance of the sale price would be paid to the county.
A valuation of Summit Park was expected to be submitted today and Vanderhoef said details of it would be available next week. He predicted it would be “significant and helpful for us.” The county executive said that “simple management efficiencies” to reduce Summit Park’s expenses would also be released soon. It loses $10 to $15 million annually.
Vanderhoef said the LDC process would be transparent and state controller’s office would have the authority to review the LDC’s finances and audit it.
“It’s a clean and simple way to go though the process of selling the hospital,” said Vanderhoef.
He indicated that the county received inquiries from parties interested in the sale of the Pomona facility, which includes the Summit Park Nursing Care Center with321 beds and Summit Park Hospital with 100 beds. Vanderhoef said it is important for the 2014 budget for Summit Park to be sold and that it could happen in 2014.
Vanderhoef indicated he will probably announce his proposed 2013 county budget on Tuesday. The county's current budget deficit is approximately $96 million.