After receiving a request last week from Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s (FCMH) Board of Trustees, county commissioner Tony Anderson explained Monday that the commissioners would contact the state auditor to look into the details of financing efforts for FCMH.
The request from the hospital board of trustees, as previously reported, involved the board passing a resolution seeking the commissioners’ support for improvement efforts to the hospital. These improvements would include three new operating rooms along with modernizing an HVAC system with the goal of maintaining an aging facility.
As previously reported, FCMH CEO Mike Diener said, “As the ultimate owners of the hospital, the commissioners would have to authorize and co-sign on any financing that would be secured.”
Anderson explained to the Record-Herald at the commissioners’ meeting Monday, “we have the document, we saw the article, we’re aware that the hospital met with USDA on Thursday last to have the conversation about funding a larger project. We’re aware that there are other conversations between the hospital board, the hospital administration, Adena Healthcare and Kettering Health Network.”
“At this point we’re going to be a little bit more deliberate than what the hospital may be comfortable with,” said Anderson. “Our goal is not to direct the hospital board what to do or what not to do. We just want to do our share, our responsibility of information gathering to make certain that what may be asked for is something that the county can afford.”
By being deliberate, it was explained that Anderson meant the information gathering may take longer than what the board is hoping for in regards to a timeline for the project.
One of the reasons the commissioners want to gather more information is because, “we’re just not certain how the funding gets paid back, how the loan gets paid back.”
“Are we going to have to ask the taxpayers for more money?”
According to the commissioners, they are aware that there are challenges for FCMH, but they are trying to figure out how the county’s general fund would or could be impacted.
“Personally, I’m pretty challenged by co-signing on notes,” said Anderson. “If we have the ability to fund a project, we should dedicate money to fund the project and not co-sign a note. We have the information and we appreciate the hospital for bringing that information to us.”
Follow the Record-Herald for more information on this developing story.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.