County makes deal to sell W.Va. hospital

December 13, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. The Morgan County Commission has struck a deal to sell the county- owned War Memorial Hospital to Valley Health for $2.75 million.

Commission President Glen R. Stotler said the county will receive $1.5 million, and $1.25 million will be paid to the county over two years in monthly fees.

"This is all predicated on Valley Health getting the Certificate of Need (CON) to operate the current hospital. The deal will be consummated on this," Stotler said.

Valley Health of Winchester, Va., which manages War Memorial, also has to get a certificate of need for the new hospital, which must be built within two years. If they do not build the hospital within the two-year period, Valley Health will pay an additional $52,100 per month during the third year, he said.


Valley Health must provide insurance for the Morgan County Commission, the board of directors and hospital employees during the transition period of operating the current hospital before the new hospital is available.

Valley Health must provide maintenance to the current facility, and a 99-year lease of 5 acres on the new hospital grounds will be leased for $1 a year to the Morgan County Commission.

After a two-hour discussion in executive session with county attorneys, a motion was made by Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson and seconded by Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim to accept the proposal made by Valley Health.

Hutchinson said her vote to accept Valley Health's proposal was a difficult and complicated decision. She said she was not happy with the amount of money offered. However, "we retain the property of the old hospital and we will get a new hospital," Hutchinson said.

Stotler voted against the deal. "I do not believe, even in this economy, the offer we were made is a good offer. I don't believe we are getting a fair value for what we are selling."

Swaim said he was not happy with the deal, but he voted for the transaction because he was afraid the hospital would not be sold in these economic times.

"I don't want the blood of not having a new hospital on these hands," Swaim said.

He and Hutchinson said they were assured the new hospital will be built by Valley Health.

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