Cumberland County sold its nursing home for $14 million last month and required the buyer to keep the employees and patients. Burlington County is also eyeing a sale of its nursing home, the 100-year-old Buttonwood Hospital.
Cumberland Freeholder William Whelan said the decision to unload its county-run home was "incredibly emotional." He told the Press of Atlantic City that the county was losing $1.1 to $2.4 million annually.
Burlco Freeholder Joe Donnelly, who sat through a tearful 3-hour hearing on the proposed sale last week, said he knows the decision will "not be easy." None of the other members of the 5-member freeholder board attended. The board plans to hold an auction next month, but may not consummate a sale, he said, if the board is not satisfied with the bidders or the price.
"Philosophically, we need to decide what is the county obligated to provide and not obligated to provide and how best to allocate those essential services to our residents and our taxpayers," he said.
The next hearing on the issue is Feb. 14.