By GALEN HOLLEY
The Grenada Board of Supervisors came away from Monday’s meeting with lawyers and officials from the University of Mississippi Medical Center feeling better about the lease of the Grenada Lake Medical Center.
“We had a very constructive meeting, and Dr. Keeton was present to voice his commitment to consummate the lease,” said District Two and Board President Chad Bridges, referring to the Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Dean of the School of Medicine.
Keeton, along with UMMC lawyers and representatives from the Butler Snow Law Firm in Jackson, met with county supervisors in executive session following the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The supervisors had been anxiously awaiting some word from UMMC after acknowledging last month that negotiations had taken a turn for the worse.
Lawyers from UMMC changed the parameters of the original deal midstream, the supervisors said.
“It is frustrating that we have not reached a final agreement at this point,” Bridges previously told the GrenadaStar. “Time is quickly running out. We will know soon whether we will move forward with this deal.”
Bridges was decidedly more optimistic Monday afternoon.
“We are hopeful that the issue that has held up progress to this point has been resolved to some extent,” he said.
Bridges acknowledged that the issue gumming up the works was not the dispute concerning the potential restructuring of $26 million in Grenada Lake Medical Center bond obligations, none of which encumber the hospital building or property or obligate the taxpayers, according to county officials.
“There are some things that we’re working through that I can’t disclose at this time, but we’re OK on the bond issue,” said Bridges. “The county intends to move forward as quickly as possible with the lease of the hospital.”