Hospital Will Purchase Pharmacy
By David Howell
COFFEEVILLE – Yalobusha Health Services is finalizing a deal to purchase The Drug Store in Coffeeville, a transaction that includes two buildings and all inventory. Hospital Board Attorney Shannon Crow provided details of the transaction at Monday’s recessed Board of Supervisor meeting in Coffeeville as part of a hospital request to borrow up to a million dollars during the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Shannon Crow explained the hospital’s Board of Trustees can borrow money and pledge a percentage of hospital revenue as security, but added that the transaction requires approval from supervisors because the hospital is county-owned.
“The reason we are doing this is the hospital is purchasing the drug store from Joe Bourne, and all inventory, along with a vacant adjacent building,” Crow explained. The attorney also explained the deal is expected to close next week and the million dollar borrowing authority would be more than enough to cover the transaction.
“If we need anything else, this amount will give us leeway for the remainder of this year,” Crow explained about the request.
“What is the purpose of purchasing this property? Are they buying the business as well?” District 3 Supervisor Lee McMinn asked during the meeting.
“It will be operated as a drug store, owned and operated by the hospital,” Shannon Crow explained.
“Still here in Coffeeville, we will still have a pharmacist?” District 5 Supervisor Gaylon Gray asked.
“It is going to be the same thing,” Crow explained about the hospital operation of the pharmacy.
Following the explanation, supervisors voted unanimously to approve the request to borrow the money. Supervisors also voted to allow the hospital to utilize the two buildings as collateral for the transaction, following a second request from Crow about the pending deal.
Other business discussed at Monday’s meeting included:
• Approved a request from Election Commissioner Steve Cummings to attend training in January. Cummings said all five of the county’s commissioners will attend the training, including newly elected District 5 Election Commissioner Vivian Simmons and District 4 Election Commissioner Eddie Harris. The request also included Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney.
• Heard a report from Chancery Clerk Amy McMinn about the recently completed 2014 county audit.
“We got a good report,” Amy McMinn explained, citing the only two findings cited in the report are recurring because the county-owned library system and economic development district aren’t audited separately.
“For us to pay for them to be audited would be a significant expense,” she explained.
Board President Cayce Washington added he talked with Tom Windham, the CPA hired by the county to perform the audit.
“I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Windham, he was very complimentary of everything that is going on in the county. Our county is financially sound and I contribute that to previous boards… I think it deserves to be said that everybody is doing an outstanding job,” Washington said.
• Approved Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26 as holidays for county employees following a lengthy discussion. Washington explained that the state holiday schedule approved by the governor was different from previous years because Christmas day falls on the weekend and only one day, Dec. 26, is authorized as a state holiday.
“We found out this morning that Lafayette County board decided to take certain days and it sounds like it might be the will of this board to do the same,” Washington continued, before turning to John Crow for legal advice.
“You have state statute that says if Christmas falls on Sunday, you take the following day,” John Crow told supervisors.
John Crow also pointed to an earlier decision by the board to take Good Friday as a holiday instead of Confederate Memorial Day in accordance with state law.
“You have already done one, you can’t take more than one, so you don’t have any leeway,” John Crow explained about the earlier change in holiday schedule. “I am not telling you what to do, I never do,” he added.
“I think in the spirit of the Christmas holiday we have people that like to travel, we have some that have family coming in and a lot of people like to slow down and relax. I personally wouldn’t have an issue with the county taking the 23rd and 26th,” Washington said before supervisors voted unanimously to approve both days.
• Entered executive session to discuss a legal issue involving the forfeiture of property in connection with a drug-related arrest by the sheriff’s department.
Board Attorney John Crow explained the items were seized in connection with possession of paraphernalia and controlled substances.
John Crow also said he had a second matter that needed to be discussed in connection with the county’s involvement in a potential lawsuit involving soil and water contamination that stemmed from the former Holley Carburetor plant.