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Orange County legislature votes to keep Valley View open

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Albany/HV: Orange County legislature votes to keep Valley View open
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It's a reason for celebration for hundreds of residents at Valley View Nursing Home. They were preparing to find a new place to call home in the new year. YNN's Elaina Athans tells us what was decided at a legislative meeting.

ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "It's an amazing thing what elections will do to people," said Orange County Legislator Roxanne Donnery.

Orange County's legislators voted to keep Valley View Nursing Home open another year. They amend a proposed budget that originally called for the facility's closure. The decision will cost the county nearly $49 million, but it's worth it for one Sugar Loaf husband whose wife has lived at Valley View for the last few years.

"I was so worried about where they were going to send her or if they close it, where was she going to go?" said Sugar Loaf resident Louis DeLuca.

In September, County Executive Ed Diana Proposed shutting it down. He said the facility was a financial drain and there are offers from outside companies to purchase the property and privatize the nursing home. Diana wanted to close the facility shortly after the New Year.

He tells YNN he will review the legislature's amendment, but will keep the cost of operation in the forefront of his thoughts.

"Certainly, I'm a little concerned. We know what our numbers are. We know where we think those numbers are and could be, so we'll see. We're review it and we’ll have an answer back sometime next week," said Orange County Executive Ed Diana.

More than 320 people live at Valley View and roughly 400 people are employed there between two unions. CSEA represents the majority of the workforces and the union president's says he will make concessions to keep operational costs low.

"Overlapping shifts, 10 hours a day, four days a week. Every place that we've implemented the overlapping shifts, we've been able to reduce over time by 90 to 95 percent," said SEA Unit 7900 President William Oliphant.

County Executive Diana, however, says he has yet to see this concession in writing and wants a formal agreement drawn up. The 2013 budget with a final sign-off on Valley's View Futures must be approved by mid-December.

Also, the same day the legislature voted to keep Valley View open, Diana contacted the other union that oversees the management end of Valley View. He notified them services were no longer needed in the new year.

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