York County exploring possible sale of Pleasant Acres Nursing Center

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Pleasant Acres Nursing Home. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

The York County-owned Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will soon be on the market, as county commissioners seek relief from significant taxpayer commitments.

The commissioners are expected to approve a contract agreement with Susquehanna Group Advisors during their meeting Wednesday, Jan. 31, to allow the Harrisburg-based consultant "to explore the possibility of finding a reputable, quality skilled-care operator to acquire" the nursing home, according to a county news release.

The consultant group — which has helped sell similar facilities in Adams, Armstrong and Lebanon counties, among others — would receive 1.1 percent of the purchase price as its fee if the facility is sold, according to the agenda item.

County spokesman Mark Walters emphasized that this decision does not mean the facility will be sold, but does represent a desire by commissioners to explore possible offers.

The county has operated a nursing home since 1805, according to Walters, and the current facility in Springettsbury Township has been operating since 1931.

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Selling the nursing home — which includes 375 skilled-nursing beds and 32 independent-living beds — has been discussed by commissioners for many years because of the facility's high costs.

The commissioners passed a 12 percent property tax increase in 2017, and Commissioner Chris Reilly said afterward that he wouldn't vote for another increase until the county sells Pleasant Acres or eliminates its structural deficit.

The county's release notes that taxpayers have subsidized the facility to the tune of $75 million, including nearly $10 million in capital improvements, during the past 10 years.

The county projects taxpayers will continue subsidizing the facility at $7.5 million per year with another $10 million needed for capital improvements during the next three years.

The county spent $35,000 in 2016 to commission Harrisburg-based consulting firm RKL to perform an operational assessment to try to reduce the county's financial contributions to the facility.

More:Report suggests major savings at county nursing home

That study yielded a report making more than $3 million in cost-saving recommendations.

In their release, the commissioners noted that the process will take several months, and their objective is to retain as many jobs as possible and maintain the highest level of care possible for the center's residents.

— Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the consultant group would receive 1.25 percent of the purchase price as its fee, but the county sent a correction to its news release indicating that rate is 1.1 percent.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.