Deadline nears to finalize deal on Scott County hospital

Deadline nears to finalize deal on Scott County hospital

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SM Promen agreed to take over the hospital in Oneida. SM Promen agreed to take over the hospital in Oneida.
SM Promen President Irving Sawyers (right) listens as attorney Ernie Hyne addresses Scott County commissioners. SM Promen President Irving Sawyers (right) listens as attorney Ernie Hyne addresses Scott County commissioners.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - Scott County's only hospital has been closed for eight months, and now there are only a handful of days left to finalize the deal that would reopen it.

SM Promen agreed to take over the hospital in Oneida, but the county and company are still at odds over the agreement.

And the money, $3 million, is not in hand.

Investors looking to back the reopening of the Scott County hospital had one more request of the county commission Monday night.

They wanted part of the purchase agreement thrown out.

"The covenant entails that in the first two years that we close on the deal, which is signing the asset purchase agreement after final approval from the attorney general comes through they have to be signed off and closed out, that he is not allowed to mortgage or borrow money against the hospital or the medical office building for two years," explained Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals.

After a lengthy discussion with SM Promen President Irving Sawyers and attorney Ernie Hyne, the commission decided to take no action on the request.

That means the purchase agreement stays the same.

"His investors were asking us to give up, give them our security blanket and take it away to give them one. And after the county commission, after hearing both sides and from Ernie Hyne the attorney they figures the best thing to do was take no action and leave the covenant involved in the APA," Tibbals added.

Sawyers does not think he'll have a problem getting the investors to sign on with the $3 million, even with the covenant in place.

"We'll be fine. It was a shot worth taking. We didn't hit that shot," Sawyers said.

The rush is now on to finalize the agreement. SM Promen has until January 31 to get the finances together to finish the deal.

If it can not be done by the deadline, Scott County commissioners can talk with other bidders about taking over the hospital.

A closing date will not be set until a deal is finalized.

The commission voted to approve a special meeting for if a deal is not reached by the deadline. It is set for February 4 at 5 p.m.

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