Jones Manor on the Sound being sold; workers, residents concerned

Andrew Kunkel, 86, a resident of Jones Manor

Andrew Kunkel, 86, a resident of Jones Manor on the Sound, in Bayville, gets a visit from his wife, Sharon Kunkel, 63, of Carle Place, right, and Sharon's sister, Gail Dombrowski, 65, of Coram. The nonprofit residence is being sold. (Credit: Lisa Viscovich)

Jones Manor on the Sound, an adult home in Bayville run by a nonprofit for 38 years, is being sold to for-profit owners who say they plan to make layoffs but offer a similar operation.

"Our plan is to beautify and upgrade Jones Manor," said Brian Rosenman of Lawrence, who with his partner owns adult care facilities in Queens and Suffolk. "We want to preserve it as the hidden gem that it is."

Employees have voiced concern about keeping their jobs, and residents are worried about potential changes in the use of the facility and its grounds.


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But Michael Scarpa, a trustee for the seller, and Oyster Bay Town environmental consultant Hal Mayer said the property must continue to be used for elder care, a restriction imposed when the town purchased development rights for the 10-acre property two years ago.

Rosenman said he plans to keep some of the 80 employees, but he had no estimate of how many will be laid off.

Paul Sabatino, a longtime counsel to Suffolk lawmakers, said the closure last year of the county-run John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank displaced 50 residents and 141 workers. He said downsizing can pose a danger to residents: "With that, your residents have a risk of infection, disease, illness or ... death."

Sharon Kunkel, of Carle Place, whose husband, Andrew, is a resident, said she hopes "the quality of care doesn't change."

Jones Manor operates in the Carriage House on the grounds of the former Clarkson Estate. Rosenman said he and partner Stephen Lowinger plan major renovations to the roughly 19,900-square-foot building's walls, flooring and outdoor area.

The partners signed a contract of sale last month with board members of the Samuel Jones Fund. While Rosenman and Lowinger wait for state approval of the $1.9 million sale -- which Scarpa, a fund trustee, said could take a few weeks to a few months -- they will serve as consultants to the current owners.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the fund, created in 1836, "to further the Jones Manor goal" of assisting facilities like Jones Manor, Scarpa said.

Running the facility was becoming an increasing financial drain on the fund because Social Security disability insurance payments were covering less of the cost, Scarpa said.

The cost for residents whose care is paid for by Social Security disability payments will not be affected, Scarpa said, but other residents will see a fee increase to compensate. Single-room residents will see a higher hike in cost than those who opt to live with a roommate, but the cost of living will still remain "below market," Scarpa said. There are 46 residents in Jones Manor.

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