Scott Co. commissioners choose S.M. Promen to reopen hospital

9:24 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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By year's end, the Scott County Hospital is expected to reopen, as commissioners voted to enter in to negotiations with S.M. Promen to reopen the facility Thursday.

"We entered into negotiations with S.M. Promen/Ameris," Scott County mayor Jeff Tibbals at a special commission meeting that afternoon, "...to reopen and govern of the future of the Scott County Hospital."

S.M. Promen President Irving Sawyers said that they would hire 140 employees and invest $2 million in order to provide the facility with the best possible technology.

"There are a number of things that we were taking a look at to expand the service," Sawyers said after the decision. "But to start out with, we're just concerned with services that were there before, make sure those get back."

It was a decision between hospital operators Texas-based S.M. Promen and Mississippi-based Pioneer. Earlier in the day, Alliant Management withdrew their proposal. Alliant was working with six local investors who were interested in financing the plans.

"Operating as a different hospital, as an acute care hospital, or a PPS [Prospective Payment System] hospital, versus the way it was operating before which limits you to beds under 25," Mayor Tibbals said was one of the differences between the two competing companies.

Sawyers said his company would also have a local CEO to oversee a facility that would have 60 beds.

Discussions will begin immediately between S.M. Promen and Scott County leaders with the hopes of getting everything hammered out by September 30. Sawyers said that is to finalize agreements over purchasing agreements and to start paperwork with the state.

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Scott County commissioners are meeting Thursday afternoon to vote on a new company to reopen their closed hospital, and now they will only have two firms to choose from.

In a letter to Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibiales Thursday, Alliant Management withdrew their proposal.

Alliant was working with six local investors who were interested in helping finance the proposal.

The letter states, "We understand we came late to your deliberations.  It was only within the last two weeks that we learned of the terms laid out by the interested parties pursuing the acquisition of the hospital.  We hoped to five the county a viable alternative to preserve this valuable county asset and ensure ongoing local control. We never intended or expected that our proposal would bring confusion and turmoil to your process and sincerely regret that it did."

Alliant was offering to lease the hospital anywhere between 10 to 15 years.  It also said in the long-term, it would be interested in building a new facility altogether.

The other two companies, Pioneer, of Magee, Mississippi, and S.M. Promen of San Antonio, Texas,  want to buy the hospital.

The vote was supposed to come on Monday, but was delayed by Alliant's late offer.  Commissioners wanted to get more information from the group before making a decision.

In the letter to Mayor Tibbals, Alliant promises, "should your agreement with your chosen partner not stand the test of time, we stand ready both financially and operationally to step up to help.  You can count on us to work with you to secure the future of our community hospital."

10News has a crew at the meeting and will have the latest on 10News and WBIR.com when a decision has been made.

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