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$3 million in upgrades advised for Pines

The Cattaraugus County Legislature has received a consulting firm's draft recommendations to make more than $3 million in upgrades over four years at the Pines, the county nursing home in Olean.

The report, provided to legislators earlier this week, was explained to legislators meeting in Wednesday's committee session by representatives from Wendel Duchscherer Architects & Engineers.

Work could be phased in over four years for less than $1 million per year and would be reimbursable from the federal government at a rate of 89 percent.

The county's share is estimated at roughly $450,000 over the life of the project, but bonding costs and other factors must be determined before a final cost is calculated.

"The problem is the nursing home is reaching the point that it is showing its age," said Legislature Chairman Gerard J. Fitzpatrick, R-Ellicottville.

Fitzpatrick described the lawmakers' reaction to the plan as generally favorable.

The report points out 13 items in need of replacement or modernization, including a new 400-kilowatt generator capable of powering the 120-bed, 35-year-old facility in the event of an extended power outage.

Other priorities are replacing a nurse call bell system with a new audiovisual bedside system and a monitor that would guard against patients' wandering out exit doors; a fire alarm system upgrade, beefed-up air conditioning and a heat recovery unit in D Wing; replacement of a 15-year-old rubber roof over D Wing; rehabilitation of sidewalks and curbing; and a new water main.

Also recommended are replacement of sink vanities, room doors and carpeting, and construction of a sunroom.

Consultant Joseph Kedron advised that overhauling the dining area to resemble a kitchen/cafe would provide a more pleasing and comfortable atmosphere for residents.

The report points out that failures in the sanitary system and domestic hot water piping should be corrected, with new electrical feeders and breaker panels for medical equipment in patients' rooms.

The consultant's energy audit identified 12 improvements costing an estimated $725,157, for a possible annual energy savings of $84,000.

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