Fiscal Court hears report from hospital
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Jan 27, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trigg County Hospital’s 2008/2009 fiscal year was a tough one, said hospital officials, who presented their annual report to the Trigg County Fiscal Court at its meeting last Tuesday evening at the courthouse basement.

Trigg County Hospital Chief Executive Officer Alisa Coleman said the previous fiscal year was tough in more than one way, and added that they have had to take several cost-saving measures, including benefit cuts and pay freezes for hospital employees.

Bethany Goss, the hospitals chief financial officer, said that although the hospital lost more than $507,000 last year, much of that loss can be attributed to an increase in charity care and bad debt that was likely caused by the layoffs in the area.

“In spite of that, our auditors gave us a clean, or unqualified opinion,” said Goss. “[The auditors] do consider this a growing concern,” however, she added.

Coleman said the hospital is showing a profit through the first nine months of the current fiscal year, which ends on April 30.

Michael Gross, chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees, called it “a trying year for all of us,” and said one of the aspects of the health insurance reform bill that concerns him is the eventual phasing out of Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, members of Grow Trigg, the organization that campaigned to repeal prohibition last year, asked the fiscal court to look at whether all citizens of the county will be treated fairly if the Montgomery precinct is allowed to have a vote to reinstate prohibition in the precinct.

Tom McCormick, the group’s spokesman, asked that question to magistrates, and also made some suggestions that have been posed by Grow Trigg, among them assessing Montgomery households a specific tax equivalent to their portion of the tax revenue collected in other precincts.

“What does this mean for the sharing of the revenue that comes from the sale of alcohol here in Trigg County,” asked McCormick. “There’s been 20 or more applications for alcohol licenses, and there’s going to be a lot more.”

The group also suggested not providing funding for improvement in the precinct, and possibly charging Montgomery residents for emergency calls during time periods not previously served by on-duty officers.

Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries said that the issue is one the fiscal court will deal with later if Circuit Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall allows the referendum and if the precinct votes to reinstate prohibition.

When asked for his personal opinion about the issue, Humphries declined.

The court unanimously approved Trigg County Clerk Wanda Thomas’s FY 2010 budget, which includes 2-percent increase for employees and a deputy salary cap of $186,000. Thomas also said the budget reflects a predicted drop in deed transfer fees.

Thomas told the court that Canton Baptist Church Pastor Paul Cannon told her the church will no longer serve as a polling place for elections in the Canton 2 precinct, and possible locations for future elections were briefly discussed.

The fiscal court voted to appoint Eldridge Rogers as the new manager of the Trigg County Recreation Complex by a vote of 6–1, with Trigg County Magistrate Donnie Tyler providing the sole no vote.

Rogers will replace Jerry Radford, who announced his resignation last year and will leave the post on Monday, Feb. 1.

Trigg County Magistrate Barry Littlejohn talked about a problem with dogs running loose in the Countryside Estates subdivision in the county, and asked Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark to investigate it.

The court voted unanimously to reappoint Mike Heffington and Ken Prince to the county’s PVA Board of Assessment, and appointed Tommy Dunn to the Cadiz-Trigg County Planning Commission.

In other business, Humphries handed out awards to county trash sculptures from the Trigg County Primary, Intermediate, Middle and High Schools.
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