By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
County attorney advises that Choctaw County does have a legal contract with Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw.
District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers questioned the hospital lease with Pioneer in the February 3 supervisor meeting.
“Do we have a current lease and with parties signed it,” asked Chambers.
Steve Wright, county board attorney, recommended the board go into executive session to discuss those issues.
The board cited potential litigation as the reason for the 30-minute executive session.
After opening the meeting to the public again, Chris McIntire, board president, said no action was taken in executive session.
After public comment and questions about the lease with Pioneer, Chambers made a motion to enter into the minutes the board attorney advised that the county has a legal and binding contact between the county and Pioneer referred to as the lease.
District 4 Supervisor David Carter seconded the motion. It was approved unanimous.
Also in the February 3 meeting, the supervisors considered hiring the Horne Group, an accounting and advisory firm, to perform a study of the hospital and if it’s best to sell or lease the facility. No action was taken at this time.
The Red Hills Mine submitted request to the board for them to accept and reopen portions of McIntire Road as a county road again. Mike Thomas, with the Red Hills Mine, said they would install a fence to restrict access to the mine and would like to build an overlook at the dead end.
Marty Crowder, county engineer, stated via telephone, that the county and the mine needed to address a few issues on the road before the county accepts the road back.
No action was taken at this time.
The Board of Supervisors approved:
-Recognize clearing account from Lynn Ray, former tax assessor/collector and accept funds of $1,400 into the General Fund.
January 31 meeting
A professional services agreement from Watkins & Eager Law Firm was also discussed during the meeting.
District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, said the engagement letter is for Watkins & Eager to help develop a formula for accessing taxes for the power plants coming off their fee-in-lieu agreements and also to hire them to represent the county in the lawsuit with Quantum Choctaw Power.
District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins made the motion to hire Watkins &Eager with a second from District 4 Supervisor David Carter.
Before voting, District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers said he couldn’t support Watkins & Eager.
“Watkins & Eager served us as bond counsel. I can’t support them because they advised us to change from a revenue bond to a GO bond,” said Chambers.
The board approved 4-1 to hire Watkins & Eager. Chambers voted against it.
Also in the January 31 meeting of the Board of Supervisors they approved:
-Solid Waste postage request for $294.
-To move the meeting upstairs to the courtroom and post on the boardroom door.
-Postage request of $236 by Lori Kerr, tax assessor.
-Inventory deletion of inoperable computer and a District 2 air compressor that was sold.
-Minutes of the HOME grant application public hearing that was held on January 29.
-Transfer $176,796 from the General Fund to Fund 325 (hospital construction fund) to pay Evans Johnson, hospital contractor. Of that total payment $122,837 is for the hospital and $53,959 is for the medical office building construction.
-To pay Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw the required indigent care funds of $73,500. District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins made motion with a second from District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain. All approved.