Voters Reject Gracedale Sale
County can't sell nursing home for the next five years.
Northampton County's nursing home still belongs to Northampton County.
With 100 percent of the returns in, voters approved a referendum Tuesday that bars the county from selling the home for five years by a margin of 19,384 to 7,302.
The vote followed an emotional campaign by the families of residents and union employees to keep the home out of private hands, arguing the county had a moral responsibility to continue running Gracedale.
But this just closes one chapter on Gracedale. Now that it won't be sold, the county has to figure out how to pay for it for the rest of the year. Anticipating a sale, the county only budgeted enough money for the home for the first half of the year. That would mean a tax increase, County Executive John Stoffa has said.
The county is also expected to start looking for a new management team to oversee the home.