Commissioners respond to sale
Monroe leaders react to county care center sale
WOODSFIELD — The decision regarding who will purchase the Monroe County Care Center remains up in the air.
At Monday’s regularly scheduled Monroe County Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners drafted a statement in response to Carson McCurdy’s letter to the editor published in the Monroe County Beacon last week.
“My intent for asking the county to publicly advertise and bid the sale of the Care Center is based on the very low sale price agreed to by commissioners. I am certain a higher price can be achieved and will back it up personally” McCurdy’s letter states. It adds that he would provide “some certainty” to the employees and staff of the center by transmitting a letter of intent to purchase the center for 20 percent more than the $500,000 offer that Bryan Casey, president of Alternative Living Solutions, originally made. Commissioners, in a 2-1 vote, accepted Casey’s offer and agreed to sell the center to him.
On Monday, McCurdy submitted such a letter of intent to the county commissioners.
“I am prepared to offer a contract to purchase the Care Center for $600,000 and close within 50 days,” McCurdy’s letter of intent states. “I intend to keep the facility in its current use accepting Medicaid and with existing staff. With good management and God’s help, I know we can make the center profitable and keep it as a major benefit to the community.”
The letter also notes that he plans to commit to donating 10 percent of the center’s net profits to the county’s churches, charities and volunteer fire departments beginning one year after the sale and continuing for the duration of ownership.
“I intend to own the facility long term. Should a sale become necessary (we all get old if we are lucky), I will also commit to give 30 percent of any net profit on the sale to the aforementioned nonprofits and charities. … As the commissioners know, a letter of intent is just that, a statement to explore a potential sale, not a contract to purchase. Also, an attorney’s request is not a court order, you are allowed to talk with me.”
McCurdy asks the commissioner to work with him in order to resolve the matter “as quickly as possible.” McCurdy had filed for a Writ of Mandamus in an effort to place the care center sale on hold two weeks ago.
Although the commissioners had no comment regarding McCurdy’s “letter of intent,” they did respond to his letter to the editor after Commissioners Tim Price and Carl Davis met in executive session with the county’s attorney, Molly Gwin, an associate of Isacc Wiles, to discuss their response.
Commissioner Mick Schumacher was present for the regular commission meeting but did not participate in any action related to the care center. He had opposed the sale.
After meeting behind closed doors, the commissioners released the following statement:
“After careful consideration the Board made the decision to enter into an agreement documenting its intention to sell the Monroe County Care Center, following appropriate due diligence, in a way that ensures the Care Center can continue to serve the needs of Monroe County, while marinating the county and the Care Center’s fiscal integrity. To date, the Board has advanced the Center a total of $7,179,588.81 (which includes the latest advance request on August 5, 2019 of $56,000.00), with only $102,000 of that amount being repaid. The Board looks forward to completing the transaction in a way that is best for the Care Center, the residents, and the citizens of Monroe County. The Board feels confident that after review of the law and facts it will be determined that the Board’s action met all legal requirements.”
Following a motion and vote on the matter, the document was signed by Price and Davis. Schumacher opposed approval of the statement and did not sign the document.
After issuing the statement, the commissioners met with Casey during the regular commission session regarding the Monroe County Care Center. Casey asked commissioners for an update on the status of three matters pertaining to the center.
“Certainly the litigation, where the county is with that, the coverage issue of Jessica’s (Price, administrator of the care center) maternity leave and, subsequently, the management issue. I just wanted to get your all’s thoughts or an update on those items,” he told commissioners.
Tim Price said that to “our knowledge, there has not been a hearing date scheduled,” involving the litigation.
“We’re not aware of any date at this point,” he said.
Davis added, “You probably are aware that our judge recused herself and a visiting judge will hear it.”
Tim Price made a motion to enter executive session with Casey to discuss a management contract. No action was taken, and commissioners said the session will continue today.
Following the meeting, Casey spoke about the center and whether he is optimistic his $500,000 bid will successfully purchase the facility.
“I don’t think it’s changed my interest at all,” he said regarding the controversy surrounding the sale. “Certainly the uneasiness that it causes the staff and residents of the center is disheartening, but out of it comes the process.”
Casey said the staff and residents remain in place and that none has been lost through this uncertain period.