Kiryas Joel, NY - Assemblywoman Calls for Investigation of Public Monies Spent on Womenâ€™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 Womenâ€™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 â€ślow incomeâ€ť women. Calhoun represented the village at that time.
â€śI believe that there must be a complete audit of all monies received and spent by Kiryas Joel and a full accounting given,â€ť she said. â€śFor one small village to receive over $10 million of taxpayer money for a 56 bed womenâ€™s health center, which is utilized only by the women of that community, seems outrageous to me and many others.â€ťIn 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. â€śAs 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,â€ť 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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