By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw owes Choctaw County $265,588 in lease payments and other fees.
The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors discussed the lack of payment by Pioneer in their June 14 special meeting. The board received a copy of their payment record to the county, which stated Pioneer owes the county $265,588.
Of that total amount, $15,000 is to pay for signage at the new hospital that the county cannot legally pay for since it has Pioneer’s name on it and they are a private company.
The supervisors have discussed this issue several times and sent a letter a couple months ago demanding payment.
Pioneer Health Systems responded with a letter on June 4 asking the county to exactly how much they owe because their figures differ. In the letter, Pioneer also says they plan to become current on all lease payments.
In the June 14 meeting, Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, said, “They (Pioneer) are in the rear on everything you have done for them and now you’re fixing to give (lease) them a new building (hospital),” said Montgomery.
Steve Wright, board attorney, recommended that the board have him respond to Pioneer’s June 4 letter.
After a short discussion, the board approved to recognize Pioneer’s June 4 letter, recognized Pioneer’s payment of record and to authorize Wright, board attorney, to respond to the letter including all amounts due, copy of the payment record and to include that “until all payments are current they will not occupy the hospital.”
In the June 14 meeting, the supervisors also approved:
-To pay invoice of $13,681 to Pryor & Morrow for architect fees on the construction of the new hospital.
-To pay $700 interest payment to the Bank of Kilmichael on the county’s line of credit to purchase hospital equipment.
-To give Steve Montgomery, board clerk, authority to accept lowest bids received to purchase kitchen equipment for the new hospital.
-Resolution for the county’s application for a Small Municipality Limited Population grant to create an employee parking lot at the new hospital. The resolution commits the county to $41,502 of matching funds that will be a combination of cash and in kind labor.
-Recognized the 2013 new Homestead applications.