Niagara Gazette

July 30, 2013

Mount View sale terms amended

By Joyce M. Miles
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — A county legislature committee is recommending the sale of the former Mount View Health Facility for a considerably lower price than was agreed to by the legislature last year.

Members of the Administration Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to back the sale of the Mount View nursing home building and grounds, 5465 Upper Mountain Road, to David Tosetto for $196,000.

In July 2012, the Legislature OK'd the sale to Tosetto for $550,000, contingent partly on findings of environmental investigation of the approximately 75-year-old building.

Downward adjustment of the sale price reflects some of the costs that Tosetto will bear for asbestos abatement and handling of two underground storage tanks on the property, according to County Attorney Claude Joerg.

Tosetto, a Youngstown resident and former executive of Elderwood Senior Care, has received the state health department's OK to operate a 150-bed assisted living facility at Mount View.

He told lawmakers that, if all goes as planned, building renovation work will get under way Aug. 15 and his new adult care facility will be in business by mid-February.

The facility will feature all private rooms and amenities including a movie theater, recreational areas, a salon, a common dining room and a 1950s-themed diner where residents can take their guests for meals "on us," Tosetto said.

The facility will employ about 50 people in full- and part-time jobs, the exact numbers of each still to be determined by facility management, he added. Combined payroll will be about $2 million per year.

Needed construction work at the five-story building includes asbestos abatement, updating rooms, upgrading HVAC systems and installing a new roof and new fire sprinkler system.

That Tosetto will take surplus property off the county's hands, and turn it into a locally much-needed elder care residence, is a "win-win" for county taxpayers, Legislature Chairman Bill Ross, C-Wheatfield, said.

In 2006, he recalled, the Berger Commission that considered ways of "rightsizing" health care facilities around New York State had recommended Mount View, the county-operated nursing home, be converted to an assisted living facility. In late 2007, the county closed the nursing home and took itself out of the adult care business instead.

"We didn't want to do (conversion) alone, so ... I think (Tosetto's offer) is a pretty good deal," Ross said.

It's expected that the legislature will have an up-or-down vote on the revised purchase agreement at its business meeting next week.