HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - Scott County commissioners postponed a decision Monday to reopen the county's only hospital, which closed in May.
The commission met to hear three proposals and feedback from the community, but decided to meet again Thursday at 5 p.m. before making a choice.
Commissioners heard proposal presentations from representatives of Pioneer Medical Services, S.M. Promen (Ameris Health Systems) and Alliant Management.
The proposals would lease the hospital in Oneida from the county and operate on a for-profit basis.
St. Mary's Hospital of Scott County closed after the county's contract with former operator HMA ran out and was not renewed.
The six-week severance package for most former hospital employees has since run out. Now, commissioners are trying to get those people back to work.
"We are proposing to open as a 60-bed, acute-care hospital. We intend to utilize 12 of those beds as a geriatric, psychiatric unit," said Irving Sawyer with S.M. Promen.
"The first thing we're going to do is open up a rural health clinic which will reside in the current ER department," said Steve Fontaine with Pioneer.
"A well-capitalized group of local investors has gotten together here within the last two weeks and realized there is a tremendous opportunity to go and help this community," said Tim Jarm with Alliant.
Afterward, there was very little discussion among commissioners. When the mayor polled them, most said they were leaning toward Pioneer, which drew a disappointed sigh from some in the audience. Promen, meanwhile, got applause.
Some commissioners wanted more time to study the options, particularly the Alliant proposal, a late addition.
Promen is a favorite for some hospital workers because their plan offers more hospital beds and more jobs, but they said the local investors with Alliant are also a plus.