How much is IU Health Starke Hospital really worth?
Starke County officials have agreed to hold a hearing on May 14th to consider adding an addendum to the Save the Hospital document to help answer that question. By adding an addendum to the ordinance, the officials would be able to dip into the fund to finance the hiring of a consultant firm that would place a value figure on the hospital, equipment and more.
Councilman Marvin McLaughlin made the motion.
”I move that we authorize our attorney to write a proposed amendment to the Save the Hospital contract to specifically allow us to employ a firm for the purpose of evaluation and appraisal of the hospital with a cap on the expenditure of $35,000,” McLaughlin said.
That motion failed as several of the council members felt that cap figure might be too low to secure the services. Another motion also failed, as it would have capped the figure at $50,000. IU Health Starke Hospital Vice President of Operations, David Hyatt, was asked how much he thought a consultant would cost.
“I would not be surprised to see that closer to the $50-$75,000 range on a project this large,” Hyatt said.
The Council agreed that if it’s more than $50,000 it would take a super majority of both the council and commissioners to increase the cap.
The Save the Hospital Fund has grown to almost $5 million.
Council President David Pearman was asked what would be done at the May 14th public hearing.
“Basically the next step will be that we will be having hearings to determine the next step of seeking the consultant. The first part of the hearing will be reviewing what our attorney comes up with as far as the changes in the ordinance, and then we would also like to look at the ability to establish RFQ (Request for a quote) or RFP (Request for a proposal) activity moving forward.”
All of this work is being done before county officials respond to IU Health LaPorte Hospital’s offer for the facility.
IU Health Starke Hospital CEO Linda Satkoski gave the council a first quarter financial report.
“The total expenditures were $719,075. You approved $248,224 which was contingency. We’ve actually spent $88,796 in contingency dollars,” she said.