TELL CITY – More than two years since treating its last patient, the former Perry County Memorial Hospital and adjoining lots will be sold soon. Meeting last Tuesday afternoon, hospital trustees approved the sale for $80,000. The buyer, represented by local Realtor Dennis Graves, was not identified and as of Friday, any sale had not been disclosed on the county’s public property records system.
“We are glad the sale is taking place and that we are actually receiving money in return, said Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Herwig.
Trustees had raised the possibility that the former facility, which was built on a bluff overlooking the Ohio River in 1950, might have to be torn down in order for a buyer to be found.
There was speculation last week that the property might be redeveloped for housing.
County commissioners approved the sale at their meeting Tuesday morning. In addition to the former hospital, the sale includes a small tract below the bluff close to River Road and contents of the former hospital, mostly office equipment.
The hospital, which saw several additions over the years, served the community for more than 60 years.
The hospital’s board of trustees discussed building new facility off and on for years and a review showed refurbishing aging heating, cooling and electrical systems was cost prohibitive.
The new hospital opened in the summer of 2015.
Trustees have already sold other tracts of land near the old hospital, including homes in which some hospital support offices were located.
Also, last week, trustees voted to convey a small tract near the former Emergency Medical Services building to the county. The building is now home to the county’s extension office and parks and recreation department.
The sale of the former hospital will save money on insurance and fire protection costs since sprinkler systems had to be maintained in some areas, Herwig said.
The savings will be welcome since the hospital has seen its financial performance waver over the last 18 months. Earlier this year, the hospital announced staff cutbacks and opted not to fill some other positions.
The hospital had a good October, financially, with income of $441,824. For the 10 months ending in October, however, the hospital has income of only $150,000, compared to a budget of $2.6 million.
The hospital recently hired a new chief operating officer / chief financial officer, Ryan White.