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York County commissioners agree to sell Pleasant Acres Nursing Home

YORK, Pa. -- York County commissioners announced Wednesday what the future holds for the county’s Pleasant Acres nursing and rehabilitation center.

Many said they are frustrated with county commissioners’ final decision for the facility.

After months of heated debates with taxpayers, county commissioners approved a $31 million sale of Pleasant Acres to a private company this July.

Before the vote, a number of people in York County gave reasons why the county should keep the nursing home. Then, two commissioners voted for the sale, and one voted against it.

Mark Reed spoke at the commissioner's meeting and said "I think the vote was horrible. I’m very appreciative of Doug Hoke’s honesty and recognition that it can’t be sold at this point. I’m very appalled at commissioner Reilly and Susan Byrnes decision (11)

Commissioners have cited the high costs of operating the facility as a reason to sell.

York County communications director Mark Walters said "we’d be looking at least a $7.5 million budget shortfall this calendar year, to cover what the nursing home costs. Next year, it could be as high as $12 or $13 million."

Many people who spoke out against the sale said keeping Pleasant Acres county-owned isn’t a luxury but a necessity.

Michael Wascovich spoke at the commissioner's meeting and said "I don’t come from a very wealthy family. We worked hard for everything throughout life, and I’m thinking about my mother, and if she were to have to go into a nursing home. We can’t afford to put her into a $140,000 a year nursing home."

"York County is a very impoverished county, very low income county. For some reason, there’s this agenda to gentrify the county and wash it clean of the low income folks, and we can’t do that," Reed said.

One-by-one several people stepped forward to voice their opposition to the motion to sell. Few were happy to hear the final vote, expressing frustration that they believe they are not being heard.

"They even had another special town hall where only commissioner Reilly and Hoke attended, and everyone there was saying that we need to save this home, we need to keep this home, and they didn’t listen to us," Wascovich said.

"Not one voice has spoke to sell the nursing home, but the vote happened to sell. There is something more underneath going on here, and they’re defying the will of the public. We the people said ‘no,’ and they said we don’t care," Reed said.

Meanwhile, county officials say their decision isn’t one taken lightly.

"We understand the emotions that were exhibited by people in opposition to this process. We take them very seriously in the consideration, but the county commissioners have to consider all taxpayers," Walters  said.

Many people walked out of the meeting room before another vote took place. Commissioners selected Premier Healthcare Management as the new owner owner of Pleasant Acres.