The Gadsden County commission approved an amendment to the lease agreement between the county, the Gadsden Hospital Inc. (GHI) Board and Capital Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
The amendment extends the lease time from ending in 2015 to 2020.
The initial lease included options to renew the lease at five-year intervals, which will continue as part of the agreement.
The motion to extend the lease was approved in a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Brenda Holt voting against the measure.
The second amendment did not fair as well.
Paul Glazer, attorney for GHI, asked the commission to consider expanding part of the hospital now under lease by CRMC for use as doctors’ offices.
CRMC wanted to bring in part-time primary care and specialist doctors to a 1200-square-foot area near the western end of their lease space (near the cafeteria).
Their plan, Glazer explained, would be for the county to remodel the area at a cost of approximately $155,000 with CRMC providing the equipment and furnishings for the doctors.
In addition, CRMC would pay the county $1,000 a month as a way to recoup their expenses. In turn they would charge the doctors for the part-time space.
CRMC leases the hospital facility (that includes the proposed doctors’ offices) from the county for $1 a year as part of the original agreement when they re-opened the hospital.
Glazer explained that CRMC wanted to bring in the specialists as the next phase of their plans to one day have beds at the facility.
CRMC offered, according to Glazer, to cap the proceeds currently being received from the county at $460,000 a year as part of the agreement.
Currently the county uses the half cent indigent care surtax for repayment of the original bond for remodeling the hospital.
That bond was refinanced several months ago at a savings of $107,000 a year.
The original agreement was for the county to pay CRMC half of everything collected on that tax with the remaining funds going to the county’s indigent care programs.
The $460,000 included the surtax money and interest from the Hospital Trust Fund.
The savings in the refinancing under the old agreement would mean that half of that savings would go to CRMC.
This part of the agreement lingered over an hour as commissioners discussed the issue.
The primary issue became how the county would pay for the $155,000 renovation. Comments included paying it out of the county’s reserves, from the corpus of the Trust, which has already been approved, or not doing it at all.
Glazer told the commissioners that CRMC could do the remodeling and at the point the lease agreement was terminated, the county would have to reimburse CRMC for the remodeling.
It was decided that the issue would be brought back for more discussion after the county staff and Glazer developed more information.