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Council discusses hospital’s future

After a few weeks of official ownership of Troy Regional Medical Center, Mayor Jimmy Lunsford told the city council details of future operation are underway.

“We’re trying to determine what it will take to operate it and get it in bigger and better shape than ever,” Lunsford told the council at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Lunsford has been appointed by the Health Care Authority’s current members as the fourth seat on the authority. Council President Johnny Witherington said the council has been asked to appoint a fifth member, which will likely be decided in the next meeting.

The other three members are President Sherill Crowe, Vice President Driscoll Colquett and Secretary/Treasurer Brenda Dubose.

Lunsford said also in the next six months will be discussions of a referendum to allow the city’s residents to vote on whether to tap into the city’s $16 million trust fund to operate the hospital or keep the additional 1-cent sales tax that’s been implemented.

The city council was also briefed on some key business underway in Troy.

The first of that being to build a new city library on Elm Street, where the old Troy High School once stood.

Library Director William White told council members the plans are in place to construct the new facility and are now undergoing cost estimates from architects.

White said the planning committee began with four goals for the new facility — a children’s area, a meeting room, a genealogy department and the ability to expand its book collection.

“Now, we have a plan in place. It’s a custom plan, not like any other library,” White said.

Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw also told council members he has completed the hiring of six new firemen, after receiving a grant to do so late last year. Three of those are certified and the other three will attend a 13-week course starting next week.

In official business, the council declared old cast iron and ductile fittings at the Waste Water Treatment Plant as surplus, and city officials will negotiate a price to sell those items.

The council also tabled a request for a retail liquor license at Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, set to open on 106 Troy Plaza by the Hampton Inn. The council will convene on Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. at Troy City Hall to ensure the city code is correct for its Health Care Authority.