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County ready to pick company to buy Sunnyview

January 17, 2014 News Extra

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Butler County is close to picking a buyer for the Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The three county commissioners spent Tuesday and Wednesday in New York looking at five health care facilities owned by two of the interested companies.

County Commissioner Bill McCarrier, board chairman, said on Thursday that the facility sites are at Yonkers, Manhattan and Long Island.

McCarrier said he is prepared to select one of the two finalists.

“In my mind, one was far superior to the other,” he said.

Commissioner Dale Pinkerton also is prepared to choose.

“That’s where I am, too,” Pinkerton said.

Commissioner Jim Eckstein agreed the trip was instrumental in making an eventual choice.

“It went well,” Eckstein said.

Although Eckstein opposes a sale, his lone vote cannot stop it.

Expecting a sale, Eckstein said he wants to be sure the buyer is an appropriate choice.

“I’m voting no on the sale, but I want to be an integral part of the selection process,” he said.

However, Eckstein isn’t ready to pick a buyer until he meets with Sue Murray, Sunnyview administrator, and Heidi Coyle, director of Sunnyview nursing. Both accompanied the commissioners to New York.

He said the women’s input would be essential to his decision.

“I don’t want to make decision yet,” Eckstein said.

He said he would meet with Murray and Coyle as soon as possible.

The commissioners were expected to discuss the pending sale at the their meeting this morning. They could put a decision to negotiate with a specific company on the agenda for their meeting Wednesday.

McCarrier said there were eight companies that submitted quotes to buy Sunnyview. Those eight were narrowed to five, then to two.

“We felt two were outstanding,” McCarrier said.

As of this early morning, the county had not released the names of the eight companies and what prices they quoted.

The county required a minimum quote of $13.5 million to buy Sunnyview.

McCarrier said he wasn’t sure why the initial eight names weren’t released, but explained that divulging which ones were eliminated from contention would have been premature.

He said any companies selected for further consideration could have backed out, leaving the county without the option of pursuing others that were initially ruled out.

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