Cumberland County Commissioners discuss future of Claremont Nursing and Rehab Center

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Cumberland County Commissioners held their second public meeting on Tuesday evening and met to discuss Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center–a Carlisle nursing home they say has been hemorrhaging money for years.

Th commissioners estimate that Claremont will cost the county around $8 million by 2022 if they don’t make any changes. In order to stop this, the Cumberland County commissioners are looking into selling the facility to a private company, which is a big move under normal circumstances, but in a pandemic has some residents spooked.

Cumberland County is only one of 15 counties in Pennsylvania to still operate its own nursing homes, and to commissioners that makes sense.

However, they say the self-sustaining budget model Claremont relief on for years is now obsolete. At this moment, they have nine proposals from companies to take over Claremont, but commissioners say the facility won’t just go to the highest bidder.

“The long term legacy of Claremont, of which we are all aware, it’s legacy in our county deserves a long term solution, not a bandaid,” said Commissioner Gary Eichelberger. “The lasting solution needs to be one that fulfills our commitment to the residents that call Claremont their home.”

Commissioners say no resident will be displaced by the sale, and they are pushing for most, if not all, employees to keep their jobs and benefits. Still, some residents are wary.

“My experience tells me that the for-profit homes — as someone put very succinctly — they’re looking to make money off of the service,” said Camp Hill resident Liz Riley.

This is far from a done deal, but commissioners are urging that action be taken. If they do nothing, significant property tax hikes will be needed to keep Claremont up and running.

If the sale approved, the county is aiming to have the deal done by summer 2021.

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