The City of Pineville is submitting a bid to purchase the Pineville Community Health Center.
An emergency meeting was held on Tuesday that included an executive session that lasted about an hour and a half. Following the closed session, Councilman Tuck Woolum made a motion that the city submit a bid on the hospital. The motion was seconded by Council woman Pat Bingham and passed unanimously.
Tuesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for sealed bids to be submitted for all of the hospital properties or for individual pieces of property owned by the hospital. The top three bidders will then go into an online bidding portal on Thursday to submit final bids. Proceeds from the auction will be used to repay debts incurred by the hospital when it was known at Pineville Community Hospital to settle its bankruptcy case.
"This is something we felt like the city needed to do to try and secure some of the assets for the community. At this time I'm not at liberty to discuss the amount," Mayor Scott Madon said immediately following the meeting. "If we make it into the top three we are going to meet again (Wednesday) at noon to discuss putting together our final bid."
Before going into executive session, Madon gave the council a quick update on the bidding process and how things are progressing at the hospital.
He said Office of Inspector General has been inspecting the hospital over the last seven days and was expected to conduct exit interviews on Tuesday as part of the process of getting the hospital's Medicare number reinstated.
"We've had a very thorough investigation and we don't know anything for sure yet. The OIG can't make recommendations, they can only submit findings," he said. "I'm not sure if we'll know anything before the 5 p.m. deadline which is very disappointing."
Madon said he had been in contact with both representatives from Tranzon Asset Advisors, who is conducting the auction, and the bankruptcy attorney on Tuesday.
When asked if it looked like enough bids had come in that a sale appeared likely, Madon said he thought there would be a sale.
"I base that solely on the fact that number of inquiries has gone from 25 to 65," he said. "You've also got to remember that there are other pieces besides the hospital that are involved. There are people interested in the homes, people interested in Total Care."