By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Allen Gamble, administrator, at Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw, asked the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors to purchase kitchen equipment of the new hospital, in their May 31 meeting.
Gamble said the state Department of Health wants to see all kitchen equipment in the new hospital. Pioneer was planning on purchasing that later and transporting food from the current hospital to the new hospital until that happens.
“I know before you had an agreement of what we (Pioneer) provide and you provide. With the equipment you have bought, we have saved approximately $35,000,” said Gamble.
Pioneer originally agreed to purchase the kitchen equipment. He asked the board to purchase kitchen equipment of approximately $35,000.
Gamble added that Pioneer would like to have the kitchen fully operational so that they can serve meals to the patients and to the public from the beginning.
District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers said, “What we obligate to is what we should pay for.”
District 4 Supervisor David Carter added, “The savings is because we didn’t have the money to begin with. We needed savings from the beginning,” said Carter.
The county is using a line of credit to purchase equipment for the new hospital.
District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, said Pioneer committed to purchasing equipment for the kitchen.
“Everything we have committed to, we have done it. There is no more money on the table,” said McIntire.
He added that the county added a surgical room to the new hospital, after plans were done and approved, when it wasn’t the county’s fault.
McIntire said the county is required to pay $1.4 million outside of the bonds.
He then handed Gamble an invoice for $15,000 for signage for the new hospital that Pioneer agreed to pay before it was purchased.
The invoice is for the plastic signs that have Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw on them.
“We can’t pay for something for a private business,” said McIntire. “It needs to be paid quick.”
The supervisors approved to recognize the letter addressed to Pioneer Health relating to signage on the new hospital which was hand received by the Hospital Administrator.
Also in the May 31 meeting, Gamble announced that the Senior Care Unit, or Geri-psych, is now closed. He said the state has not approved for the unit to continue in the current building once the hospital moves to the new facility.
“We are not approved for any patient care in that part of the building once we move,” said Gamble.
Chambers asked him if any of the 15 beds at the new hospital could be used for the Senior Care Unit. Gamble said no, that unit is required to be a locked wing.
After questions from Chambers on why the state closed the Senior Care Unit, Gamble said, “Two weeks ago, a state guy showed up to inspect patient rooms. He said we didn’t meet specs. Then he called our corporate office.”
“The state’s not going to allow it, it’s a fight we couldn’t win,” said Gamble.
Earlier in the meeting, the board received requests from the Choctaw County School District.
Glen Blaine, Ackerman Elementary School principal, requested help from the supervisors with a few projects at AES. Projects include spreading topsoil and helping fix a ditch.
“Any help you can give us, please,” asked Blaine.
Three members of the School Board were also presented and requested help.
Mike Thomas, board president, said, “We are having a tough time with expenses with this transition. We appreciate you help.”
He requested help and dirt with several projects at French Camp Elementary and at the parking lot next to the cafeteria at the high school.
Chris McIntire, president of the Board of Supervisors, said some of the work requested of him at FCE is building maintenance.
“Work at French Camp is a lot of wheel barrel work. I don’t mind bring dirt, but a lot of what was asked is building maintenance,” said McIntire.
Thomas responded by asking the other supervisors to help them out.
“That’s why we are asking some of our other supervisors for help,” said Thomas.
The supervisors agreed to help the school district.
From the May 31 minutes, the board also approved:
-The agenda for today’s meeting.
-To adopt a resolution on applying for the Mississippi Small Government Grant up to the amount of $150,000.
-Request of payment presented by Pryor and Morrow for Evan Johnson and Son Construction in the amounts of $53, 176.36 for the MOB and 211, 310.22 for the Hospital and order the Clerk to settle claim by means of a pay warrant.
-Claim from Crowder Engineering in the amount of $4,974.84 for work done on the Box Culvert Project on Reform-Sturgis Road and order the Clerk to settle by means of a pay warrant.
-To authorize the advertisement for bids on The Airport reseal of runway with bids to be opened on July 8, 2013 with the County to pledge 2.5% of total bid from County Funds.
-Payroll docket dated May 31, 2013.
-To reappoint Harvey Black to the Holmes Community College Board.
-Assessments and deletions presented by the Solid Waste Department.
-To delete the past due taxes of Mary H. Jones, Tower Loan of MS, Lester’s Barber Shop and Lillian Brown Kimbough requested by the Chancery Clerk.