GREENUP The Greenup County Fiscal Court discussed the current and future impact of the sudden, unexpected impending closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital at the regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
Part of the discussion dealt with the frustration generated by either the inability or unwillingness of hospital officials to meet with local government to discuss future plans for the buildings in the hospital complex which, if unused, could quickly become derelict and pose a danger to residents of Greenup and Boyd counties.
“What concerns me is that there is no real plans for that building,” County Attorney Mike Wilson told the fiscal court. “You remember when this was announced we asked for a meeting with Bon Secours and Mercy to find out where they were going and what their plans are for those facilities. We waited for two days, and made ourselves available, until late Friday they told us there was no reason to talk.
“We need to have some information, and these people need to come speak with us,” Wilson added. Wilson also said the fiscal court needed to consider what actions it could take to mitigate or remedy the situation.
“One of the actions we could take, and I want you to consider this, is an action of eminent domain,” Wilson said. “You don’t want those buildings to sit up there and become empty and out of service, where each day they would get in worse shape. So I want to ask the county to look into this possibility, where the county could ask that the property be sold and the county would have the right to buy the facilities.”
Wilson said if the county did purchase the property, it would be able to market it to other organizations such as the Veterans Administration, nursing homes or someone else.
“The corporation could let it sit there and rot to the ground,” Wilson said. “That would be a great loss to the county, so I ask you to consider this. I think these people need to meet with us,” Wilson said. “And if they don’t want to meet with us, then the court needs to take some sort of action.”
The fiscal court passed a resolution to request a meeting with Bon Secours and Mercy to discover their intent for the property.
“If their intent is just to let it sit there and rot, then I think we need to proceed with eminent domain,” Wilson said.
The vote to allow alcoholic beverages in the City of Greenup, the City of Raceland, the City of South Shore and the Hunnewell Precinct (at Riverbend Golf Course) was also discussed. The vote will be on the primary ballot in May for those cities and precinct, and voters within those areas will be able to vote either for or against the sale of alcohol. Proponents of alcohol sales secured the number of signatures necessary to add the vote to the ballot. Those signatures were verified by County Clerk Pat Heineman.
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