FMH asks Council for $4 M until end of 2018

WINNSBORO – It was the request County Council members had been expecting from Fairfield Memorial Hospital (FMH) for almost a month – $4,000,801 to keep the hospital open until Dec. 31, 2018.

During Council meeting Monday evening, the hospital’s Chief Financial Officer, Tim Mitchell, broke the numbers down this way.

“Included in that number is $1,043,000 for the hospital’s emergency room services,  $154,130 to replace heating/air conditioning unit, $50,000 to paint the exterior of the building and over $1 million for accounts payable 60 days past due. The balance of the request would be potential cash losses through Dec. 31, 2018. Because Mitchell did not always speak into the microphone, other numbers were not audible and Mitchell could not be reached for comment before press time. (A more complete breakdown of the funding request will appear in the March 8 edition of The Voice.)

Before Council went into executive session to discuss the hospital’s funding request, Council chairman Billy Smith said it is his feeling that the citizens of the County need to get something tangible in return for the funding that’s been requested and that has been paid over the years.

Smith suggested the County purchase the hospital property and have a tangible return on the County’s investment. As for the timetable for that to happen, Smith said he could not be specific.

“Providence has a 90-day right of first refusal on the hospital property, so we would need a letter from them saying they are not interested in purchasing it,” Smith said. “There are a couple of leans that would need to be taken care of and we’d need an appraisal of the property which will take some time. I think the hospital [FMH] has expressed that they have enough money to get by until we can work these things out,” Smith said. “But if for some reason we can’t purchase the property, then we’ll have to have an entirely different discussion.

Comments

  1. Just to provide clarity: Though I suggested the County purchase FMH’s real estate, which would assist the hospital in continuing operations until the new Providence ER is opened, I have not and will not suggest that the purchase price should be in the ballpark of $4m. I am holding thoughts on an offering price until we can have an appraisal completed and are able to learn more about the liens on the property and the hospital’s outstanding accounts payable.

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