Kiryas Joel, NY - Assemblywoman Calls for Investigation of Public Monies Spent on Women’s Health Care Center
Kiryas Joel, NY - Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun announced today that she has asked State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to look into the public monies of over $10.5 million spent by the Village of Kiryas Joel to build a Women’s Health Care Center.
The facility was designed for mothers and their newborns.
The price tag on the facility was just over $3 million when the plan was first presented to the state in 2001 in a competitive grant request based on the needs of “low income” women. Calhoun represented the village at that time.
“I believe that there must be a complete audit of all monies received and spent by Kiryas Joel and a full accounting given,” she said. “For one small village to receive over $10 million of taxpayer money for a 56 bed women’s health center, which is utilized only by the women of that community, seems outrageous to me and many others.”In 2001 the center was valued at $3.5 million with KJ paying 75 percent if the Pataki administration would put up $750,000, Calhoun said. The village has yet to pay any of that state money back, she said. And since that time, the project cost has risen to $105 million, with all but $600,000 being funded at the state level by Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other lawmakers. She said Pataki was responsible for over $5 million to the community including over $1 for a road to the facility. To add insult to injury, Calhoun said while the facility was originally meant for low income women, Medicaid will not cover the $200 daily cost. “As a mother, I think a proper place and time to rest after giving birth is important for all women, but I do not think that rest and spa facility should be paid for by the taxpayers of New York State just because Kiryas Joel has political allies,” Calhoun said. The Blooming Grove lawmaker said she had already spoken to DiNapoli and he told her he would take a look at her concern.
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