MAYVILLE - The legal gears involved in the potential sale of the Chautauqua County Home are beginning to turn.
A resolution was filed Thursday with the legislature's Human Services and Audit and Control committees authorizing the negotiation of contract for the sale of the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility.
The resolution is being requested by County Executive Greg Edwards and 10 legislators - including chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville.
"This is just the first step in selling," Gould said.
Starting the negotiation process will be discussed in committees just prior to a special legislative session next Thursday. The resolution will be the only item on the agenda.
In the meantime, legislators and the county executive need to be prepared if a vote to begin negotiations of a contract is approved, Gould said.
"If we vote to sell, then we are ready to move to the next step," he said. "This is just the first step in the process."
The county executive in his tentative budget called for the sale of the County Home to Altitude Health Services Inc., which offered $16.5 million in cash for the facility. The only other offer received for the 216-bed nursing home was a lease offer from Absolut Care Facilities Management LLC.
"It's critical with the losses we're suffering, which they are daily," Edwards said of the resolution being filed before next week's vote.
"Our due diligence has not yet been done. We need to have that willingness to go forward."
The sale of the home, which was used to plug portions of a $13 million budget gap next year, was taken out of next year's spending plan during recent budget review sessions. Revenue from the sale would be replaced in the budget if lawmakers approve the resolution.
Meanwhile, the county executive said both bidders have remained in contact with Marcus and Millichap, the marketing firm for the County Home.
"We have been in regular communication. Both are encouraged by the real movement in the legislature," he said.
Should the legislation pass, Edwards would begin negotiations of a contract with Altitude Health. The contract would then make its way through committees in November before a vote of approval takes place.
Gould said representatives from Altitude Health will be present during the legislature's special meeting. "You have to know who you are selling to and what for," Gould said.
In related news, Thursday's meeting of the legislature's Audit and Control Committee has been pushed back to 5 p.m., Gould said. The special meeting will follow at 6:30 p.m.