by Walker County News Today staff
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Walker County Hospital District Board of Managers, the Board appeared to be trying to move forward with deciding exactly what to do with the Ella Smither building. The building, owned by the District, has been vacant for years and is costing the district money for maintenance and upkeep. Vice-Chair Montgomery, who chaired the meeting in to the absence of Chair Anne Woodard, said that previous issues with the deed to the property have now been cleared and the District is now awaiting completion of an appraisal of the property. Board members agreed that no decisions could be made until after the appraisal is received.
During public comment an unidentified female attendee asked when the results from recently conducted independent audits of both HMH and the WCHD would be released for public review. Board member Bob Hardy responded that the reports were still under discussion by both parties and that, as far as he knew, there was no deadline. Though the WCHD’s staff asked everyone attending the meeting to sign in (including media and HMH staff), those giving public comment or asking questions were not identified prior to speaking.
In other business the Board voted to:
- Approve payment of $14,393.95 in indigent care bills
- Approve the monthly financial report
- Approve paying $39,258.54 in monthly bills
- Record $576,664 in budgeted indigent care expenses
Huntsville Memorial Hospital’s Chief Financial Officer gave a summary of ongoing operations and fielded questions from board members on recent activities within the hospital. He reported that there are currently about 950 people in the county’s indigent care program; anyone in the program must re-qualify every 6 months to remain in the program.
Other than the agenda, none of the items voted on at this meeting were available for review at the meeting or on the district’s website prior to the meeting.