New owner keeps most Valley View employees

HOLLIDAYSBURG – The new owner of Valley View Home has hired 97 percent of the home’s nursing and non-nursing employees, Blair County commissioners said Tuesday.

Commissioners Terry Tomassetti and Diane Meling, who heard job-related concerns from county employees in the weeks leading up to a vote to sell the home, said Tuesday that they were pleased with hiring percentage.

“It’s very, very good news,” Tomassetti said.

Reliant Senior Care Management of Philadelphia took over the home’s operation as of Saturday and provided figures to Tomassetti indicating that 241 county employees were offered jobs and accepted. Seven employees were not hired.

Reliant also indicated that 14 county employees elected to retire, but according to the county controller’s office, that probably doesn’t reflect all retirements.

Between November and May 31, the controller’s office processed 18 retirements for Valley View Home employees and several more are pending, Controller Richard J. Peo said Tuesday.

While Valley View employees were reportedly hired at current salaries, they will be paying more toward health insurance, based on documents Reliant distributed to employees and obtained by the Mirror. Those documents also indicate that the employees will have fewer paid holidays.

The sale also left county employees without payment or credit for their accumulated sick leave. But they will be compensated for compensatory time, vacation time and personal days, accrued as of May 31, Tomassetti said.

Commissioners also voted Tuesday to approve a lease with Reliant Valley View Limited Liability Corp., the partnership that now owns the home, allowing the coroner’s office to remain at the home through the end of July.

Reliant also will lease space to the county for the Blair County Planning Commission offices and the Penn State Cooperative Extension offices through the end of December.

The monthly rental will be $5,523 for June and July, Chief Clerk Helen Schmitt said Tuesday.

Starting in August, the amount will be reduced to $4,926 because the coroner’s office space will no longer be included.

Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. said Tuesday that he’s continuing to work on finding a new location for the coroner’s office.

The planning commission staff expects to move to the courthouse basement, into an area now occupied by the sheriff’s department, which will be moving to the first floor later this year.

The extension office staff is expected to move to the Altoona-Blair County Airport, after the airport’s restaurant is renovated to accommodate offices.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.