Supes discuss medical office building with PHS

By Amanda McBride

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors met with officials from Pioneer Health Systems and Pryor and Morrow Engineering to discuss the new medical office building. Steve Fontaine, with PHS, said there has been a lack of communication between the county and PHS. He said they were not informed that the county approved the construction bid for new hospital and medical office building and options on both building. After a discussion on lack of communication and who was or was not at supervisor meetings when the new hospital and medical office building were discussed Fontaine said he was more worried about the physical therapy portion of the new medical office building. The supervisor previously approved what alternates and options they would take and pay for in the construction of the new hospital and medical office building. Shelling out the physical therapy section of the new medical office building was not approved.

“We thought the lease payments agreed on in the contract was to go towards a fully operational medical office building,” said Fontaine. He said they have two options, according to PHS. The supervisors pay for the finishing of the PT area or PHS lowers their lease payments so they can fund the finishing of the PT area. Maxie Patterson, with Pryor and Morrow, went over the list of alternates and options approved by the Board of Supervisors. After more discussion, Fontaine said that a portion of the medical office building is supposed to be an education room. “It’s our dime to convert that from an education room to a sleep lab. It should include foundation and plumbing,” said Fontaine. The Board of Supervisors made no decision on whether or not they would pay for the finishing of the PT area in the new medical office building in this meeting.

On a different matter with PHS, Fontaine presented documents to the supervisors that would amend the lease to change PHS’s monthly payments to quarterly payments. Fontaine said if approved, PHS would pay the county $75,000 quarterly for lease payments and the county in turn pays PHS $73,500 for indigent care. The board took no action in this meeting. Fontaine also asked the supervisors to approve a contract between them and PHS to continue providing financial statements as part of their management contract for the supervisors. The contract would require the county to pay $7,500 a month for October to December and $5,000 for January to March for the closing out financial statements prepared by PHS. No action was taken at this time.

Later in the Board of Supervisors meeting they discussed the county’s budget, shortfalls and revenues. District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire and District 4 Supervisor David Carter both said they would like to hire an accountant to look at the budget, expenditures and to see where county is at in the budget.During this discussion Glen Beard, Sr. asked the supervisors questions about the shortfall and funds to the school district. McIntire explained that the county has paid the school district additional funds from an inventory oversight at the Red Hills Mine and from unexpected ad valorem funds that came in, reducing the shortfall to the school district. Chambers made a motion to hire Watkins, Ward and Stafford, not to exceed $3,000 but to pay it out of the county’s bookkeeper/comptroller fees. McIntire said they cannot do that. The motion died for lack of a second. District 4 Supervisor David Carter asked if Steve Montgomery, the county’s comptroller, can look at the budget like the supervisors wants WW&S to do. McIntire answered, “It’s so much outside of the scope of a normal year that we’re asking Steve to do. So much money has been transferred this past year, I think it will be money well spent.”District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins said by law the supervisors do (set) the budget. Chambers responded, “But they (comptroller) but the numbers in front of you.” No action was required to hire WW&S because the amount is under $5,000 but the board agreed to have them look at the budget.

On a different matter, Collins said the appointment of the Board of Supervisor’s president and vice president is for the term (four years), according to law. Chambers said he did not know that when he made the motion in January to appoint McIntire president and Carter vice president for one year. The board approved to appoint McIntire as president and Carter as vice president for the board’s term.

The Board of Supervisors also: • Approved payroll • Approved a $5,000 donation to the Summer Youth Baseball program. This was set in the budget. • Approved a letter from Marty Crowder, county engineer, stating the Gladney Road Bridge closure did have correct signage. • Approved inventory deletions. • Approved to purchase a fire truck from Excess Property for $100 for Reform Volunteer Fire Department. • Recognized Solid Waste assessments. • Approved request for payment from the bonds from the new hospital construction contractor and architects for payment #1 of $7,000 on the medical office building and payment #1 of $400,000 on the hospital. • Approved to place the tar truck, spreader and van in the Deanco Auction.