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County Board Reacts to Nursing Home Layoffs

VERMILION COUNTY -- County Board Chairman Gary Weinard says, "There has been reaction in the community, from the board members.  Nobody expected this kind of cut in employment."

Almost 40 people are laid off after FNR Healthcare Group and Premiere Management re-named and took over the former Vermilion Manor nursing home,
now called Gardenview Manor.

Weinard says, "I don't think anybody thought in their wildest dreams that it would be twenty-five percent of the existing staff."

Weinard says the board relayed what it knew to the public, but adds members were kept in the dark about the layoffs,

"This is a public owned nursing home and it requires transparency. We told the buyer that from the word go on it that we couldn't do this behind close doors, we couldn't negotiate deals, it would all have to be on the table because it was publicly owned.  I thought they understood that but apparently the communication wasn't complete."

Chairman Weinard says he hasn't had direct communication with the new owner since the sale.

Residents understand the sale needed to happen but are disappointed by the layoffs.

Candy Butcher of Catlin says, "I think they could've tried to finagle it around a little bit better not to lose as many employees but also i understand there was no choice."

Bill Engle of Danville says, "Well I was real sad to hear that they were laid off.  I was of the understanding that the new owner was going to retain those employees."

Approximately one hundred and sixty employees worked at the facility.

The county had already planned to pay employees through August 1st so they would retain their health insurance for this month.

Phone calls to the new owners were not returned.

ABC NewsChannel 15's Heather Good Reports