Business & Finance

Runnells to be Sold to Private Company: Big Payday for Berkeley Heights

2e68d4169f4635b3e271_Unknown.jpeg
2e68d4169f4635b3e271_Unknown.jpeg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On a 7-1 vote, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a measure granting the Union County Improvement Authority the permission to negotiate the sale of Runnells Specialized Hospital, a Union County facility, to Center Mangement Group of Flushing, New York, a private company.  The sale is projected to save the County $56 million over the next five years and generate an estimated $500,000 in new property tax revenue per year to Berkeley Heights and Union County by putting the property back on the tax rolls.

Mayor Joe Bruno told The Alternative Press of Berkeley Heights that this is a fantastic move.   "This is what I was saying right along, sell Runnells.  Cost of medical care is not what governement should be involved with," said Bruno.

"Runnells became a drain, losing $13 million last year and close to $20 million the year before," said Bruno.   

Sign Up for E-News

The Freeholders mandated a number of conditions be met for the completion of sale, requiring that Center Management:

  • pay not less than the appraised value of $26 million to the County;
  • give current Hospital patients the right to remain at the Hospital;
  • protect the Hospital employees, in good standing, by offering the right of first refusal and providing as many employment opportunities as possible at the Hospital and at Center Management Group's other locations;
  • guarantee a five-year capital improvement plan;
  • commit to sharing revenue with the County for any new health care related services or facilities Center Management Group adds to the Hospital;
  • agree to a deed restriction that will require the Hospital remain a health care facility for long-term care patients;
  • and agree that a certain percentage of beds at the Hospital shall remain available for Union County residents and to indigent patients.

“Every angle was analyzed and every option was put on the table,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak, adding the decision “of this magnitude” was “not an easy one and required two years of work.”

“Ultimately, this Board believes we’ve made the best decision possible toward maintaining the financial viability of the hospital and quality care for its patients,” Hudak said. “Employees in good standing will also have a first right of refusal at employment with the proposed operator.”

The County has paid a total of more than $30 million over the past two years to subsidize the facility. This year the total subsidy amounted to $13.5 million.

Because Counties have in part experienced decreasing reimbursements, several counties in recent years have sold their nursing homes to private operators:

These Counties include: Burlington (2012), Camden (2013), Cumberland (2011), Essex (1996), Hudson (2002), Mercer (2010), Salem (2009).

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

I am Proud to be Your Mayor

Honesty and results. Those two principles characterize my service to our community for the last nine years. I served on Town Council for four years and have been your Mayor for five years. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community, steering it in a positive direction. During this time, I have learned about our Town, identified areas for improvement and been privileged ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

May 15, 2018

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Who Is Dmitriy?

Who Is Dmitriy?

That is the question I asked myself in the past year or two. I first chanced across him online in community conversation. When an issue seemed to go nowhere, people starting to get ugly and nasty, personal attacks escalating, in would pop Dmitriy and with one comment, he could sum things up. He based his  opinion on information he knew, coupled with what he could glean ...

The NO vote on the Budget

I read today's letter to the editor from Councilwoman Susan Poage regarding her reasons for voting "no" on the town's 2018 budget. As I attend most meetings of our Township Council, including the one on May 8, I want the public to be aware of some facts that are not contained in Mrs. Poage's letter.

The 2018 Budget development process included public meetings on Feb. 26, ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program

May 20, 2018

 

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Racing to the Finish and Supporting Cancer Survivors

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

MAY 13, 2018 SUNDAY | BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—On May 13, the Summit Area YMCA welcomed over 1,000 participants to the 17th Annual Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk at Memorial Field, in Berkeley Heights. This family-friendly event also hosted a fun magic show, invigorating Zumba dancing, a tot trot, face painting and music.

Matthew Byrne of Berkeley Heights won first place ...

Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad Offers Free Community CPR Classes and Plant/Flower Sale to Raise Funds for Relay for Life

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - National EMS Week – a time to celebrate EMTs and the important work they work do for our nation’s communities was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford.  This year National EMS Week is May 20 to May 26 and the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS) can think of no better way to celebrate EMS Week than by teaching YOU, our ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, May 20, 11:00 AM

New Providence Community Pool parking lot, New Providence

CSA Community Yard Sale

Giving Back

Sun, May 20, 11:00 AM

New Providence Community Pool parking lot, New Providence

CSA Community Yard Sale

Giving Back

Carousel_image_0672a37a8171c8f49ab6_bhvrs-409-trans-flat-white-3

Sun, May 20, 11:00 AM

Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad Headquarters, Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad Offers ...

Sun, May 20, 12:00 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center in the Watchung Reservation, Mountainside

29th Annual Spring Garden Fair & Plant ...

Green Home & Garden

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

History of Silhouettes & Craft for Children

Other

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Summit High School, Summit

Summit Symphony Orchestra Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...