GREENWOOD - The Delta News and The Taxpayers Channel have an answer to the question that has plagued The Delta for months....What REALLY caused the deal to save the Greenwood-Leflore hospital to fall apart? Now, we know. The Taxpayers Channel has finally obtained the once-secret papers that described the deal to save the hospital... but that turned south in a big way.
Our review of the papers suggest the proposed rescue deal with UMMC probably never had a chance. Most in Mississippi would have bet their bottom dollar on the University of Mississippi Medical Center swooping in and saving Greenwood-Leflore Hospital... but no one expected the needs of the community and the demands of UMMC to clash the way they apparently did in terms of the proposal and proposed lease.
As The Taxpayers Channel and The Delta News reported, the documents surrounding the deal were kept top secret, with Chancery Clerk Johnny Gary never acting on a public records request filed more than 4 months ago in apparent violation of state law. The Taxpayers Channel finally obtained the documents through other means, and they tell a story of doom from the start.
Let's start with the demands of the so-called RFP, the requirements the city and county wanted from bidders. Hey insisted on continuation of acute care beds, rehab... surgery, and emergency room services unless the governments agreed to reduce services' fired back it would only offer services that were "financially viable" at UMMC's sole discretion. For its part, UMMC would only pay enough rent to cover insurance on the property.
Other issues in what many call this "bad deal" include:
no job guarantees for any current employees
a short term 10 year lease only
no assumption of hospital debts and liabilities
no coverage for current pension plan underfunding
no liability indemnity for city, county, or hospital officials
no proposed improvements or new service lines
No wonder Leflore County Supervisors refused to put UMMC's name on a letter of credit to pay for building repairs and pay back a federal loan.
It long looked like supervisors knew something they weren't telling... and now we know... they did.
The documents obtained by The Taxpayers Channel represent an early draft of the deal... and subsequent drafts no doubt contained several changes... but the documents uncovered here certainly show... why so many acted like this was a "bad deal" from the start.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.