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BOCC Special Minutes October 5, 2010


5:00 P.M.
The Board of County Commissioners of Madison County, Florida met this day in Special Session with the following members present: Justin Hamrick (District 1), Wayne Vickers (District 2), Renetta Parrish (District 3), Alfred Martin (District 4), and Roy Ellis (District 5). Also present were County Attorney George T. Reeves, County Coordinator Allen Cherry, Deputy Clerk Phyllis Lawson and Clerk Finance Director Lessia Freeman.
The Chair, Honorable Justin Hamrick, called the meeting to order and then passed the gavel to the new Chair for the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year, Commissioner Renetta Parrish.
Chair Parrish then explained that the purpose of this meeting was to consider a request by Madison County Memorial Hospital for financial support and recognized Mr. David Abercrombie, Executive Director of Madison County Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Abercrombie stated that the hospital had been approved for a Community Facilities Direct Loan in the amount of $22,543,400 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to construct a new hospital. 
Mr. Abercrombie stated that, according to a Regional Economic Impact Study conducted by the University of Florida in 2002, the estimated number of jobs created by the hospital’s activities is 299 and the total estimated annual impact on the local economy is $52,971,000.
Mr. Abercrombie explained that with all of the changes in the health care industry, Medicare is now reviewing every claim that Madison County Memorial Hospital has submitted since June of 2010. Because of this, the turnaround of monies is very slow and the total estimated cash loss for this year is $611,251. He also explained that the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) had also conducted an inspection and had given the hospital a list of improvements that had to be made within twenty-three (23) days or their license would not be approved for the next year. The costs associated with these repairs were approximately $324,000. Because of these two events, the hospital’s cash flow was gone and, unless they received financial help, the hospital would close within two weeks.
Mr. Abercrombie asked the Board to consider a proposal to purchase the 5.8 acres the hospital owns for the proposed new hospital site in the amount of $1,000,000 and to sell the property back to the hospital for $100. This would give the hospital the cash flow it needs to meet most of its obligations. These funds would come from the ½ cent Sales Tax for Indigent Care/Hospital Surtax that has been collected in the County for a new hospital. County Attorney George T. Reeves stated that in conjunction with the County’s outside auditors, Lanigan & Associates, Inc., it was determined that the indigent care/hospital surtax funds could be used for this purpose.
Upon an inquiry regarding how the funds would be used, MCMH Finance Director Patrick Halfhill presented a handout showing that the $1,000,000 would be used to pay past due Accounts Payable, monies owed to Medicare and the State of Florida, payroll-related liabilities and the current portion of some long-term debt.
The meeting was then opened to the public for comments. Mr. Allen Blanton stated that he works for Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services and the closing of the hospital in Jasper had drastically affected the EMS in that county. They now have to transport people to other counties and that frequently leaves no ambulance available in the county.
Mr. John Grosskopf, President of North Florida Community College, stated that there are approximately 150 nursing and EMT/Paramedic students that depend on Madison County Memorial Hospital for their clinical training. Mr. Grosskopf stated that closing the hospital would greatly affect these programs at the college.
Mr. Gene Stokes, on behalf of the Madison County Development Council, presented a letter of support for the hospital’s request.
State Representative Leonard Bembry stated that he was in support of the hospital staying open and asked the Board to consider granting the hospital’s request because of the impact the hospital has on the community.
Ms. Linda Jones, Ms. Charlsie Robinson, and Ms. Alise Dawkins all told the Board how much the hospital meant to them and members of their family that had been treated there.
After hearing all of these comments, a motion was made by Commissioner Vickers and seconded by Commissioner Ellis that the Board accept the hospital’s offer of purchasing the 5.8 acres of land for the amount of $1,000,000 and then selling the land back to the hospital for $100.00. The motion carried 5-0.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:15 P.M.
                                                                        Board of County Commissioners
                                                                        Madison County, Florida
By: ____________________________
                                                                               Renetta Parrish, Chair
Tim Sanders, Clerk to the Board of
County Commissioners

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