2018-08-08 / Front Page

County meeting

The most important discussion at Monday’s county commission meeting stemmed from a report by county attorney Bill Mills related to the Pioneer Health Services bankruptcy.

Mills noted he expects to see the bankruptcy finalized within a week. He also noted a $700,000 indigent care payment withheld by the county after PHS filed bankruptcy had been determined to be “property of the bankruptcy estate.”

The indigent care funds originated with the original contract with Archbold in the early 1990s. The county has remained committed to the funds through PHS tenure at the hospital. The agreement calls for the county to disburse the funds to the Hospital which through a seperate agree- ment dispersed the funds to PHS.

The Bank of Early had been advancing the indigent funds to PHS via a loan agreement each year until the tax dollars were disbursed. The county withheld disbursement of the money to the Hospital Authority in 2017 after PHS filed bankruptcy.

“You go back and find a way to make them (bankruptcy lawyers) understand those tax dollars are designated for the healthcare of Early County citizens, not some payment to a bank in New York,” Commission chair June Merritt told Mills.

County Administrator Spencer Mueller told the commissioners the local airport is one of 27 in Georgia which is qualified to apply for additional federal monies allocated to the FAA. “And we are one of only six which has shovel ready projects in place.”

The two “shovel ready” projects include one for rehabilitation of the airports electrical systems — an estimated $1.3 million project and another including fencing of the airport property.

He also gave the commissioners an update on road and bridge projects and recommended a $474,550 courthouse paint and repair project from Fourth Street Designs.

The board adopted a resolution to amend the budget by approximately $95,000 to provide for projected expense increases.

Dana Glass gave a presentation of ASPIRE programs and activities.

The board denied a $20,000 increase in operation funds by the Early County Museum.

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