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Suffolk Notebook: Nursing Home Deal Under Scrutiny

Critics grow louder as proposed buyers look to pick up support.

The proposed buyers of the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Center met this week with nervous lawmakers, hoping to put them at ease over concerns that staff and patients would get lost in the change of ownership.

Israel and Samuel Sherman appeared before the county legislature this week to defend the $23 million sale, Newsday reported, to promise that staff and patients would not be affected.

Even if that's the case, critics argued that the Shermans, who operate 13 nursing homes in the state, could simply choose not to readmit patients who have to be sent to hospitals as well as be far more selective of who they admit, perhaps declining patients that need a high level of care.

The Shermans denied that, but also said there would be no contractual agreement that sets rules on who they admit.

Read the Newsday story here.

HIA, IDA, One Big Family

Suffolk County's largest industrial park this week was taken under the wing of the county's Industrial Development Agency, a move that the Hauppauge Industrial Association hopes will help more businesses either move into the park or upgrade their facilities.

The deal between the IDA and the HIA will put members in reach of various incentive packages that are available, and will hold several workshops for companies looking to cash in on the IDA's offers. At the same time, the IDA will be tied to any rent or lease opportunities in the 1,400-acre industrial park, with IDA logos on all signs posted there.

“Together, the Suffolk County IDA and HIA-LI will be able to educate and inform regional businesses about the benefits they can receive from the IDA. We can help detail how leasing into larger space, buying a property or renovating a facility could be more cost-effective with incentives from the IDA,” Terri Alessi-Miceli, HIA-LI president, said in a statement.

With MTA Tax, Bellone Weighs In

It was one of the most unpopular laws one could find on Long Island, the MTA payroll tax: a mandate that businesses had to cough up a percentage of their payroll to the Metropolitan Transit Authority to help fund local mass transit. And this week the state Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional.

Following the announcement, scores of local politicians , including Suffolk's highest official.

Here's what County Executive Steve Bellone had to say. Do you agree?

“This initial ruling is a big victory for Suffolk County taxpayers, many of whom get little to no service from the MTA. Since 2009, Suffolk County has paid an estimated $12.5 million as a result of the MTA payroll tax and local businesses have paid tens of millions more. There is still an opportunity for an appeal to be heard by the New York State Appellate Division. I am cautiously optimistic regarding the outcome of the appeal but if found unconstitutional, this ruling would save Suffolk County taxpayers approximately $3.5 million per year.”

Joan August 26, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I totally agree with Bob. That's what they do to us… they need to pay all of that money back with stiff penalties and interest.
Joan August 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Even if MTA kept the money they wouldn't spend it in the boonies of Suffolk county. Suffolk has always had miserable public transport.
Lady L August 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
The MTA owns massive amounts of real estate, thanks to the taxpayers of Suffolk County and beyond. They can divest themselves of some to repay us and still have plenty of operative funds. In the meanwhile, I truly hope the county lets the Sherman group purchase Foley Nursing home, privatize and take the burden off the property owners and taxpayers of our county. We have strong laws in NY so there shouldn't be any concerns about caring for the poor. Once again, nobody begrudges the truly poor, truly disabled, from receiving benefits, only those who live off the dole with no effort to contribute to the community in one form or another.
Michele August 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM
"...Suffolk County taxpayers, many of whom get little to no service from the MTA..." Are you kidding me? No one from Suffolk County is using the LIRR to get to work? Am I reading this wrong? I agree that non-commuters should not be responsible for the MTA tax, but to say that Suffolk Cnty residents are getting no service from the LIRR is totally inaccurate.
Laura August 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The MTA tax should never have been passed. We should get as much money back as we can. The Foley Nurslng home should have been closed years ago. It was and is a huge tax burden on Suffolk residents. We have a buyer, please SELL.

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