The financially troubled Mercy Care Center of Northern New York will close permanently next year, terminating its 240 employees.
Watertown Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said he received a legal notice from Mercy Administrator Dennis A. Casey that indicates the facility will close between Feb. 7 and 20.
“There has been no mystery about this. Everybody knew it was going to close in 2013,” Mr. Graham said Friday night.
Residents of the 218 Stone St. facility have the option of moving to Samaritan Medical Center’s 288-bed assisted-living and skilled-nursing facility on outer Washington Street, which is slated to open by March.
Mercy employees are expected to be hired by Samaritan, the facility’s temporary owner, but the notice does not indicate how many, Mr. Graham said.
Samaritan paid $211,159 in back property taxes on the nursing home when it secured a $34 million state grant two years ago to build a new long-term-care facility.
Once Samaritan moves out, MGNH Inc. will remain the owner of the 420,000-square-foot complex.
Last month, GE Capital, the building’s lienholder, was approached by the Watertown Local Development Corp. but showed no interest in unloading the property through foreclosure. The city could end up with the Mercy property unless MGNH pays its property taxes.