County moves forward on Weems financials

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM.

In the afternoon, Alan Pierce, director of administrative services, reported that the commissioners had been told earlier that the BKD expenditure would be forthcoming, and had approved it. By unanimous vote, the commissioners voted Tuesday to release the money.

“They’re gonna examine the data Adams came up with and tell us what we can build and what we can afford,” said Commissioners Smokey Parrish. “They’re going to analyze the data and tell us what we can build. Their company’s reputation will be riding on this opinion letter they write for this board.”

Despite the approval, the matter appeared to give commissioners the jitters.

”It’s got me confused, it’s got me nervous,” said Commissioner William Massey.

“You don’t know what nervous is. It has me concerned,” said Commissioner Cheryl Sanders. “I don’t think anything’s gonna keep me from having some concerns over this hospital. I’ve been here a long time and I’ve seen the ups and downs of the hospital. It’s my gut feeling sitting here and looking at these numbers.”

Brownsworth said that in scaling down the hospital renovation project to $10.25 million, with about $6 million to $7 million in construction costs, Weems officials have been “prudent stewards” of sales tax funds that go to the hospital.

He said that of the $67,000, on average, in monthly hospital capital outlay funds, about $10,000 goes to funds the clinics, and about 90 percent of the remaining $57,000 would be used to cover debt service for the new hospital, which could be built by mid to late 2016.

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