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2 LEGISLATORS STILL UNDECIDED ON MT. VIEW

Niagara County Legislators Glenn S. Aronow and Richard E. Updegrove said in a cable television interview Thursday night that they remain undecided about the sale of Mount View Health Facility.

However, Aronow said he was leaning toward supporting the sale of the county-owned nursing home if the final terms are suitable. "If everything falls into place the way we need it to, there's a likelihood I would switch my vote to sell the place," he said. "That's why we're undecided: We don't have all the information."

Last year, Aronow and Updegrove, both Republicans from Lockport, voted against offering Mount View for sale.

"Things have changed since the original vote was taken for the (request for proposals)," said Updegrove, whose grandmother lives at Mount View.

"The drop-dead date (to close the facility if it's not sold) was eliminated, and we now have a deal with respect to privatization of the facility that would not relocate the residents." He said he would vote as his constituents want.

The two first-term legislators, the only declared undecided votes on the sale, made their comments in an hourlong appearance on Lockport Community Television's "Legislative Journal."

A Buffalo News straw poll showed 11 legislators in favor of the sale and six opposed, with Aronow and Updegrove undecided. Under state law, a two-thirds majority, or 13 votes, is needed to approve the deal, because it involves the sale of county-owned real estate.

Meanwhile, County Manager Gregory D. Lewis said Thursday that it is possible that the vote on the sale could be postponed until as late as May 17.

The county's hoped-for timetable called for a contract between it and Senior Associates, the Amherst company that offered $2.1 million for Mount View, to be tentatively settled in time for review by two Legislature committees April 11 and 12. A final vote by the full Legislature was to follow April 19.

That is still a possibility, Lewis said, but Senior Associates has asked for further legal review of some of the terms, so a delay is more likely.

Lewis said he does not want the final vote at the May 3 meeting of the Legislature because he has been told that some members will be absent that night. "On something as important as this," he said, "we want everybody to have a chance to vote."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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