City authorizes hospital authority to enter agreement

By Kathleen Guill -

The Frederick city council met in a special session at 7:30 a.m. on Monday at the Water and Light office, 200 W. Grand Ave. The notice for the special session was posted on Feb. 1.

Officials present were Mayor Eddie Whitworth and councilmen Jim Smith, Chris Cole and Kevin Ouellette.

Staff present were City Manager Robert Johnston, City Treasurer Fabian Reyes, City Clerk Lupe Arumugam and City Attorney Pat Kent.

The city council met to discuss authorizing and supporting the ongoing efforts of the Tillman County-City of Frederick Hospital Authority Public Trust to provide health care at the hospital complex in Frederick.

The council unanimously voted to authorize the hospital authority to enter into an agreement for the continued operation of the Memorial Nursing Center Nursing Home. The hospital authority has been in negotiations with several prospective entities for continuing operation of the nursing center though the board was not ready to disclose what entities those are.

The vote will allow the hospital authority to take reasonable actions to keep the nursing center open, including using sales tax money if needed, according to Johnston.

Sitting president of the hospital authority Gary Tyler was present to discuss the needs of the nursing home in Frederick.

“The bottom line is the first thing we’re trying to do is to save the nursing home,” Tyler said. “We qualify for what they call an upper level payment. That means when you are a trust owned nursing home or hospital owned nursing home there are federal dollars that offsets the difference. For instance, we get a hundred fifty bucks a day for a resident in the nursing home, so the the upper level will give us that $80…the earliest we could see any of that match money would be June, or maybe July.”

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Memorial Civic Center.

The next hospital authority board meeting is scheduled for noon on Feb. 22 at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

By Kathleen Guill

Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.

Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.

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