Quorum Court Approves Sale of Land for Medical Office BuildingJuly 21st, 2009 by Joe Burgess
Attorney Cliff Gibson draws a rough diagram of the location of the medical office building during his presentation. According to Gibson, the medical office building will be located on Old Warren Road between Scogin and Ross Drive.Â
During its regular session July 20 the Drew County Quorum Court approved a resolution and two orders to sell surplus county land in the Medical Complex area for the construction of a new medical office building.
Attorney Cliff Gibson presented the Board of Governor’s Certificate Resolution, the Order of Sale Real Property to Doctors and the Order of Timber Sale for the court’s consideration. Gibson provided the court with information on the project, including proposed restrictions on the use of the property.
According to Gibson, the restrictions will help ensure that the project will not present any competition for Drew Memorial Hospital. Judge Damon Lampkin said, the hospital’s architects and the doctors’ architects are working together to make sure the medical office building is mutually beneficial for both parties.
Quorum Court member Renee Knowles asked if the purchase of new technology outlined in the resolution would cause future competition between the medical office and the hospital. Drew Memorial Hospital Board Chairman Jim Searcy said, as long as the technology costs range in the million of dollars, it’s not going to lead to competition. He said, the resolution will protect the technology the hospital currently has.
Gibson also said the resolution includes provisions that will allow both parties to make adjustments to the resolution in the future. He provided the diagrams for the property for the county clerk to keep on file, but informed the court that the package was missing an attachment pertaining to the legal description of the property.
He said the survey of the land is not complete, so they do not have specific measurements for the property. Gibson said they hope to have it completed in the next two or three days, and he said the description of the land will be attached to the judge’s order.
The second order pertains to the reservation of all timber on the property. Gibson said they will leave some trees for aesthetic purposes, but most timber on the property will be sold.
Gibson said the DMH Board of Governors passed the resolution unanimously, 7 to 0. According to Gibson, the county judge will have to decide whether to sale the surplus county property, and the Quorum Court is asked to provide advice and consent. Once the court approves the orders from the judge, then the assessor can complete the appraisal. After the appraisal of the property, they will open the bidding process.
Next on the agenda, Shelia Lampkin presented Ordinance 2009-9 for Preserved America Community Designation for Drew County. According to Mrs. Lampkin, the program is aimed at preserving historic sites. The program began in 2003 and eventually became a permanent program under the Obama administration.
In order to qualify, Lampkin said the county must show proof of historical assets and that the county has attempted to use those assets. According to Lampkin, the Arkansas agent for the Preserved America Community program said Drew County would qualify.
Lampkin said the program does not cost anything and it would benefit the community in several ways, including making it eligible for grant opportunities. The county would not be responsible for applying for the grants, though any grants would have to be filed through the judge’s office. All grants through the program are match grants and can be matched with funds or labor.
Lampkin said the grant opportunities could help with the Ridgeway Project and restoring the south side of the square, among other things. She also said the county could benefit from tourism if it becomes a Preserved America community. Lampkin said the economic impact of heritage tourism totals around $5 million for the state.
“Drew County has a lot of historic sites that could attract visitors,” Lampkin said.
According to Lampkin, Arkansas is currently home to 16 Preserved America communities, including cities, counties and neighborhoods. The Quorum Court approved the proposal to apply for Drew County to become a Preserved America Community.
During the Hospital Report, CEO Michael Layfield reported a $40,000 loss for the month of June. According to Layfield, this June has been the weakest in two years. Despite the loss, the hospital reported a $313,000 gain for the first quarter. Though July has also been a slow month so far, it is up about 10 percent over last month.
Layfield reported that the Board of Governors is working on Phase I of the master site plan for the hospital. Phase I includes the addition of an allied health building. Layfield said he hopes to bring a proposal to the court in a couple of months.
In other hospital news, Layfield said they still have not received news on the $6 million stimulus funds, and they may make another trip to the governor’s office in the near future.
In other business:
- Shirley Hancock reported a gain for the general sales tax and the special road tax. According to Hancock, the road tax gained almost $47,000 over last year as of June. Judge Lampkin said, “We are doing good compared to several counties and cities around the state.”
- Attorney Gibson presented Ordinance 2009-7 for Creating the Official Position of County Jail Doctor. Gibson recommended the court approve the ordinance due to the increasing lawsuits being filed. According to Gibson, lawsuits in the state penitentiary system have become almost routine. By instituting an official position for the jail doctor, which is an appointed position, the ordinance would provide immunity against these kinds of lawsuits. The county jail doctor is currently facing a lawsuit for violating civil rights, though Gibson said there were no allegations of medical malpractice. The court approved the ordinance.
- Member Ron Echols requested that the court review providing base salary raises for the deputy clerks and jailers. Member Jimmy Potter said the court already approved raises. County Clerk Lyna Gulledge said the court did approve a 3 percent raise across the board. Judge Lampkin asked the Gulledge to collect some information on the issue for the next Quorum Court session.