Following a public hearing at which only one member of the public, former County Council member Ron Angle, spoke, Northampton County Council passed an ordinance whereby all Gracedale profits will be re-invested in the nursing home.
The ordinance establishes a separate account to hold Gracedale funds and profits, but County Council member At-Large Bruce Gilbert thinks there are simpler ways to keep Gracedale profits at Gracedale.
“The creation of a separate fund to divert those profits, it simply becomes mechanically unsound because it changes the way they do their accounting.” He said he fears the separate account is needlessly complicated and suggested that a group of County Council members and County employees meet yearly to discuss Gracedale profits and ensure they are properly earmarked.
Gilbert moved to amend the ordinance to remove the provision requiring a separate account, but that amendment failed.
Angle also took issue with the ordinance. “You don’t address any of the things in there that would be pertinent to the year after year operation of this ordinance,” he said, referring to what would happen should Gracedale operate at a loss.
Angle then focused his comments on the recent discovery of asbestos in parts of Gracedale, telling County Council it should have sold the facility when it had the opportunity. Instead, he warned, “The day will come when you will beg somebody to take Gracedale.”