No hospital decision yet

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Troy City Council has still not reached a decision on whether to support a request from hospital owners for additional backing, after an hour-long executive meeting Tuesday.

The request came to the city toward the end of last week, asking them to extend an agreement set to expire at the end of the month for an additional five years.

Also in the agreement the Troy Hospital Doctors, LLC., asked the city to increase its purchase price on Troy Regional Medical Center from $10.5 million to $15 million. Essentially, if the council accepted the proposal from the doctors, they would be bound to purchase the hospital at anytime in the next five years, should the owners not be able to afford the real estate.

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Prior to its meeting Tuesday, the council met in executive session to discuss with lawyers the impact of this agreement, said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

The city is unable to either accept or reject the proposal since it hasn’t advertised the matter for at least seven days, but for now at least, Lunsford said he’s not recommending its approval.

“At this time, I’m not recommending to the city council we extend to $15 million,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford said whether the council will make a decision before its next scheduled meeting March 24 is unknown, but if advertised, members could call a special meeting prior to that date.

Also in the meeting, the council held an initial reading on the building that once stood as the National Guard building on Elba Highway, property that has been requested for a Troy City Schools Central Office by Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith.

Council President Johnny Witherington said the council was not ready to make a decision on the property, but he read the ordinance for the first time publicly Tuesday, bringing the school system potentially one step closer to a new home.

If sold, the city did not say how much they would make the transaction for, but the land value was appraised at $770,000, Lunsford said.

Council members also recognized Jerry Spann, who has served on the Troy Arts Council and as a local music teacher for years.

Lunsford presented Spann with a certificate of commendation.

The Troy City Council will participate in a surplus auction at the Cattlemen’s Association April 4, where they have several old vehicles and other equipment it declared surplus Tuesday night.