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Property taxes will have to be raised to finance GLH lease to UMMC

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 7:03 pm News Flash Archive

Today, the city council heard from Tray Hairston, a financing attorney from Butler Snow.

Mr. Hairston came to explain the way that the city could finance the $4.5 million that it has to pay in order to repair the hospital, and to pay off the multi-million dollar short term loan to the hospital from Medicare.

GLH is practically broke, and may well have to shut down completely by the end of November. The city and county have been negotiating with UMMC for a friendly takeover, but several "deal breakers" have arisen. Now UMMC is demanding that the city and county pay for $9.1 million in repairs and Medicare loan repayments, since UMMC isn't responsible for them.

Unfortunately, the news wasn't very good at today's meeting. According to Mr. Hairston, the city and the county will have to float General Obligation Bond Issues, and will have to raise property tax millage rates to pay for the bonds.

The amount of money needed for the repairs and loan repayments is too great to use easier, short term borrowing, Hairston told the council.

Furthermore, he indicated that the bond issue has to be advertised in the paper, and that ultimately it will take 3 months to actually obtain the money in hand. There may have to be two separate bonding issues by the city, since some of the money is for capital repairs, while most of the money is to pay off the Medicare loan money that the hospital owes.

But UMMC wants a "Letter of Credit" right now. There doesn't seem to be a way for the city or county to provide such a letter in the time frame that UMMC has in mind.

Additionally, the county bumbled the resolution of intent last Friday by removing UMMC from the resolution as the "Payee" of the Letter of Credit.

And if UMMC isn't satisfied, it may kill the entire leasing project.

To view our coverage of this matter, please click here: Some county supervisors apparently confused about UMMC demand for $9.1 million payment for leasing the hospital

A video of today's city council meeting may be seen here: Greenwood City Council meeting, November 1, 2022

To review our reporting on GLH and its financial woes, please see here: Index of Greenwood Leflore Hospital news articles

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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