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Warren County Freeholders approve changes to Warren Haven

By Kris Rile, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Mar 27 2013 10:39:51 PM CDT

The Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded two contracts regarding dietary, housekeeping, and laundry services at Warren Haven Nursing Home by a unanimous vote. Both contracts were awarded to Healthcare Services Group, Inc. located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

The first contract was in regards to the dietary services at the facility in the amount of $1,515,586. The duration of the contract is from July 1st, 2013 through June 30th, 2014, with the option to extend for two additional one-year periods. The second contract covers the housekeeping and laundry services at the facility. The contract is from July 1st of this year through June 30th of next year in the amount of $845,000.

According to Freeholder Director Jason Sarnoski, by awarding these two contracts, the County will save $1.4 million over the next two years, with more savings in the future.

Although the Freeholders approved awarding the contracts, it was not done without hesitation from the three men.

“It is with the greatest reluctance that I feel we should do this, but if we don’t, we can’t balance our budget,” commented Freeholder Deputy Director Edward Smith.

Both Sarnoski and Freeholder Richard Gardner expressed that the facility cannot continue to operate in a deficit.

“It is very gut wrenching that we cannot take care of our own as we have done for almost 200 years,” expressed Gardner. “We can’t continue to operate in a deficit or we will lose the facility,” he continued.

Sarnoski emphasized that Warren Haven is one of 11 nursing homes in the state of New Jersey that is still government run and not a privately run facility.

“I believe that the residents at Warren Haven will see services maintain or improve in some areas [with these changes],” said Sarnoski. “I believe we’re going to see a reduced cost and improved performance,” he continued.

Although a third party will be maintaining these services, the Board of Freeholders expressed their desire to keep as many current Warren Haven employees as possible to improve services.

“I, for one, appreciate all of the employees up there [at Warren Haven] and all that they have done,” expressed Gardner. “My hope is that most of our employees stay there at Warren Haven,” he finished.