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HUNTSVILLE — Whether S.M. Promen of Tennessee will ultimately be handed the keys to Scott County Hospital could be known as soon as today, one day ahead of the start-up company's absolute deadline to obtain investment capital to operate the facility.

Promen has until the close of business Thursday — 4:30 p.m. central time — to submit the necessary paperwork documenting adequate funding for the hospital to the state attorney general's office in Nashville.

On Feb. 19, Scott County Commission authorized County Mayor Jeff Tibbals to automatically terminate the asset purchase agreement between the county and Promen at 12:01 a.m. Friday, assuming that documentation is not submitted by Thursday afternoon.

The asset purchase agreement calls for ownership of the facility to be transferred from the county to Promen at essentially no charge. Promen must operate the facility as a hospital for at least two years under stipulations of the agreement.

Promen's deadline to secure investment capital to open the facility was originally Dec. 31. On Feb. 4, County Commission opted against terminating the asset purchase agreement, instead giving Promen until Feb. 28 to secure funding.

Mayor Tibbals said Monday that Promen CEO Irving Sawyers Jr. contacted him Saturday to say that all but $500,000 of the necessary funding had been secured. At the time, Sawyers said he hoped to have the remaining funds in place by Monday afternoon, Tibbals said.

County officials are waiting to receive word by the close of business today on whether Promen has secured the last $500,000 in investments.

Once the attorney general signs off on the deal, it is estimated that it could take as much as 60-to-90 days for the hospital to reopen.

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