Hospital Falls Behind on Power Bill Again

WINNSBORO (Jan. 22, 2016) – Fairfield Memorial Hospital is once again behind on its electric bill, and Tuesday night Winnsboro Town Council nixed the hospital’s proposal to waive late fees.

Council voted unanimously to reject the bid, opting instead for a counterproposal to waive the late fees only after the hospital has made good on 18 months of payments, provided the payments are made on time.

“What they want us to do is waive those late fees,” Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy said, “and we have a history with Fairfield Memorial with their previous contract that they complied with for about four months and then came in arrears. They wanted us to delay them right off the bat; what we said is we will waive them after 18 months of prompt payment – 18 months of a 36-month contract.”

Gaddy, who is also a physician who serves on the Fairfield Memorial Board of Directors, abstained from the vote.

Fairfield Memorial, as of Dec. 8, owes the Town $188,699.99.

The counteroffer will be sent back to Fairfield Memorial and Council will officially vote on the measure during their Feb. 2 meeting.

Mt. Zion

Gaddy also said the Town has sent a letter to the Friends of Mt. Zion Institute (FOMZI) requesting a meeting with any seriously interested prospective developer of the former school property. Gaddy said Council would like the meeting to take place as soon as possible.

After meeting with Council in executive session on Jan. 5, FOMZI Chairwoman Vicki Dodds said her group had significant interest from a developer, who had made more than one visit to the site.

The Town officially transferred the property at 205 N. Walnut St. to FOMZI on March 4, 2014, with the caveat that the buildings had to be stabilized within 18 months to meet Winnsboro’s Dangerous Building Code or be torn down. After the Jan. 5 meeting, Dodds revealed the old school building had failed to pass inspection and was not up to code.

Tuesday night, Gaddy said any prospective developer should be committed to “immediately stabilizing the building,” for Council to give them serious consideration.