JOHNSTOWN - Rather than fight it, Fulton County supervisors decided to pay a $10,000 fine related to a state survey critical of the former county nursing home in 2011.
The Board of Supervisors on Monday authorized paying the fine to the state Department of Health.
Payment will come out of an infirmary cash-receipts assessments account.
The DOH performed a survey of the 176-bed, former county Residential Health Care Facility on June 25, 2011. County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said the fine was related to bedsores.
As a result of the survey, the facility submitted a correction plan to perform in-service training and take other corrective measures to the satisfaction of the Department of Health, county officials said.
The plan was accepted by the state, but the county received notice June 29 the DOH was imposing a $10,000 fine.
The county sold the facility to the private, Bronx-based Centers for Specialty Care on March 31. The nursing home is now known as the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare. The county sold the infirmary for $3.52 million to save money.
Johnstown 3rd Ward Supervisor Jack Callery said he has "concerns" about the county paying the fine. He asked why the Finance Committee recommended the payment.
"New York state is screwing us out of more money," Callery said.
He said the state doesn't have money to pay the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District's debt to the county for paying its back taxes to area school districts, but the state can fine the county.
Broadalbin Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo, chairman of the Human Services Committee, told the board an attorney for the state indicated it could cost the county more if it refuses to pay the fine. DiGiacomo also said the county isn't disputing the validity of violations in the survey.
Stead said the county also is formally requesting the state waive the penalty.
Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born noted the county previously paid a $4,000 fine related to a similar finding, but "we had another incident," which probably prompted the state action.
"I think that's probably what got the state's attention ... this time," Born said.
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.