Bainbridge city and county leaders step in to help with Hospital - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge city and county leaders step in to help with Hospital's debt

There is now hope for Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge. (Source:WALB) There is now hope for Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge. (Source:WALB)
"The level of support that we've gotten from the city and the county is very reassuring," said Glennie Bench, Chairwoman for Hospital Authority. (Source:WALB) "The level of support that we've gotten from the city and the county is very reassuring," said Glennie Bench, Chairwoman for Hospital Authority. (Source:WALB)
" Its too valueable of an asset and I think everybody realizes that, there was some questions and negotiations of how to get it done, but we got it done," said Reynolds. (Source:WALB) " Its too valueable of an asset and I think everybody realizes that, there was some questions and negotiations of how to get it done, but we got it done," said Reynolds. (Source:WALB)
BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

There is now hope for Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge.

"The level of support that we've gotten from the city and the county is very reassuring," said Glennie Bench, Chairwoman for Hospital Authority.

For the past several years it's been all about getting the hospital back on track.

"We're looking at every avenue of operation to make sure that we are doing what we need to do to make sure the burden on the taxpayers is as low as possible," said Bench.

Last week, city and county leaders met with the hospital authority, and finalized a plan to secure the hospital's debt.

"We are looking to do whatever we need to do to keep it open and viable," said Mayor Edward Reynolds.

In a new loan agreement, both the city and the county will pay off the 9.5 million dollar debt, through a 15 year bond.

There is a current Indigent Care Tax that was already in place before this agreement, and is now extended through to the year 2029.

This will hopefully help build a reserve fund for any remaining debt not covered by the bonds.

"The benefit to the citizens of decatur county is that their tax will never be more than what it currently is, they will never be asked to contribute a dime more than that," said Bench.

Through all of this, 11.5 million dollars in bonds will be sold. The extra 2 million will be given to the hospital for improvement.

"We are asking the hospital to continue to work hard to do what they need to do to be financially sound and stable," said Reynolds.

City leaders said they remain optimistic about the hospital's future.

" Its too valuable of an asset and I think everybody realizes that, there was some questions and negotiations of how to get it done, but we got it done," said Reynolds.

The agreement is the first of many steps that will be taken towards saving this hospital.

"There have been 5 or 6 within the past handful of years and they will tell you now they wish they had done more to make sure their hospital was strong and viable when they had the chance," said Bench.

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