LIBERTY –– A process that began nearly 15 months ago reached its conclusion this week when the Sunset Lake Local Development Corporation (LDC), Sullivan County and Infinite Care …
LIBERTY –– A process that began nearly 15 months ago reached its conclusion this week when the Sunset Lake Local Development Corporation (LDC), Sullivan County and Infinite Care Management formally signed an agreement for Infinite Care to operate the Care Center at Sunset Lake in Liberty for the next 20 years.
Renewable by either party, the agreement guarantees that Infinite Care will invest $3 million in the Care Center within the first three years of operation, followed by an $800,000 annual fee paid to the LDC thereafter. Per its charter, the LDC will remit those funds to the County.
Sol Klein, principal of Infinite Care, said they are excited for the opportunity to join the Sullivan County family “in providing excellent care for its senior community.” He added that, “We appreciate the trust the county has placed in us, and we are looking forward to further earning that trust as we move forward.”
Klein noted that “Infinite Care’s vision is to strengthen the entire community by partnering with them to preserve and promote job opportunities and quality of life for staff and residents.”
“Residents of Sullivan County,” he said, “can be confident that Infinite Care has the means and the desire to do right by this precious population.”
LDC Board Chairman Lowell Feldman called the process a complicated, but worthwhile endeavor.
“I am pleased to predict that the future for the Care Center, and for the people of Sullivan County, looks very bright,” he said.
Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Rob Doherty said that, “This agreement promises to improve the services rendered to those who depend on the Care Center and relieve taxpayers of having to cover a shortfall every year.”
District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, who chairs the county legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee, is also a member of the LDC Board.
“My goal in this process has been to give people what we owe them: excellent care delivered compassionately and competently,” she said. “This is what Infinite Care has promised, and this agreement holds them to that guarantee. I look forward to the improvements they’ll bring to the Care Center.”
According to the county, Infinite Care plans to rebrand the Care Center in the near future and will make further announcements as updates occur. Sullivan County will remain the employer of record, with workers receiving County benefits.
Reaction from The Family Council of the Care Center at Sunset Lake
Lou Setren, President of the The Family Council of the Care Center at Sunset Lake, has been a part of a group that’s been critical of legislators during this 15-month process.
He said the Family Council followed the ongoing developments regarding the operations at the Care Center, initially proposed by the legislature as an outright sale, and later as a lease agreement, with great interest.
“Many of us requested to have a representative seated on the Sunset Lake Local Development Corporation to represent facility residents and their families during the negotiation process, to no avail,” said Setren. “We were pleased the Sullivan County Legislature selected Infinite Care as the proposed operator, based on our research, their presentation to the Legislature, and the sincerity of Sol Klein and other corporate officers during our subsequent conversations.”
Setren said the Family Council believes Infinite Care is committed to making the necessary investments in the facility, and staff, to ensure the quality of care available to both current and future residents is the best possible.
“We have continuing concerns regarding the length of the lease contract and whether there are appropriate performance measures included in the terms of the agreement,” said Setren. “These issues were raised during our initial conference call regarding any proposed transfer of the facility with county management.
“Despite assurances, we, as stakeholders, have had no opportunity to review any of the contract terms,” Setren continued. “As such, we remain cautiously optimistic this agreement will finally end the uncertainty regarding the future of the Care Center, and provide both current and prospective staff, as well as residents and their families some measure of confidence the facility will continue to provide our most vulnerable the best level of care now, and far into the future.”