By ERIC TICHY
OBSERVER Mayville Bureau
MAYVILLE - The tale of two sales.
OBSERVER file photo
County Executive Greg Edwards has proposed selling the County Home in Dunkirk as part of his 2013 budget.
County Executive Greg Edwards and his finance team crunched the numbers regarding the potential sale of the Chautauqua County Home.
Selling the Dunkirk nursing facility, the county executive noted in his tentative 2013 budget, would give the county a $6.3 million profit.
But a financial viability report by the Center for Governmental Research has the sale millions of dollars lower - after legacy costs such as unemployment and workers' compensation are factored in.
"There has been significant debate," Edwards told lawmakers during his budget presentation Wednesday. "I don't have any reason to believe we should not have significant debate about CGR's numbers.
"But it is undeniable that CGR missed the calculation on the net proceeds of the County Home by almost $5.8 million."
The $80,000 report, commissioned by an ad hoc committee, estimated the county would receive $680,000 if the home were sold to Altitude Health Services Inc., which offered $16.5 million in cash for the facility.
Only two offers were made on the home, one by Altitude Health, and the other by Absolut Care Facilities Management LLC - the latter of which was a lease offer.
The largest discrepancy between the county's and CGR's estimations, Edwards said, includes the home's fund balance, which would be transferred to the county if a sale were completed. The county would receive $4.3 million in the transaction.
"That's the big number right there," the county executive said.
Paying down of debts also affects net proceeds from the sale. The CGR report has $9.5 million in debts paid off at the time of sale. Edwards, meanwhile, said the home's debts will not be paid all at once; he estimated that by Dec. 31, 2013, $1.8 million of the home's debt will be paid.
"These are differences we came up with that show the county would receive millions of dollars more than what was projected in the report," Edwards said.
Selling the home, which would help cover a $13 million budget gap next year, was the center of Edwards' budget presentation.
"That is driving down what otherwise would have been a $6.3 million property tax increase," Edwards said. "We are using those proceeds to fund our ongoing operations."
The county executive noted that by including the profit from selling the home in 2013, it will leave a $6 million budget gap next year. "These are a series of tough decisions we have been making," he said.
With a tentative budget in place, legislative committees will begin meeting next week in Room 331 in the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.
The committee schedule is as follows: Monday at 9:10 a.m., Public Facilities, and 1:15 p.m., Public Safety; Tuesday at 9:10 a.m., Administrative Services; Wednesday at 9:10 a.m., Planning and Economic Development, and 11:15 a.m., Human Services; and Friday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m., Audit and Control.