HUNTSVILLE — Scott County Commission met here Tuesday, after the Independent Herald had gone to press, but was expected to hear from S.M. Promen CEO Irving Sawyers Jr. with still no finality to the continuing drama of the local hospital’s future.
Meeting in a delayed session due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, commissioners were expected to hear an update from Sawyers on his ongoing efforts to shore up investments to reopen the facility, which has stood vacant since May 24, 2012.
While there was no official word ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, indications were that Sawyers would ask for further revisions or concessions to the hospital access purchase agreement.
Specifically, a concession Sawyers might request would be a removal of the clause requiring the facility to be operated as a hospital for at least two years, a move which would give him additional leverage with potential investors.
However, it was unclear going into Tuesday’s meeting whether such a request would indeed be on the table.
Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals, who did not speculate on what Sawyers might present to the Commission, said that Sawyers was still working to finalize his financials and that a conference call was scheduled between attorneys for Scott County and Promen late Tuesday morning, which would “answer a lot of questions.”
County Commission has approved a transfer of the hospital real estate and assets to Sawyers’ firm, but the hangup has been on approval of the deal by the state attorney general. Such approval cannot be obtained without sufficient funding in place to operate the hospital.
The access purchase agreement between Scott County and Promen is set to expire Jan. 31.