Catoosa commissioners vote to back Hutcheson

Catoosa commissioners vote to back Hutcheson

April 5th, 2011 by Andy Johns in Local - Breaking News

Catoosa County commissioners voted unanimously this morning to urge the county's Economic Development Authority to secure funding to back Hutcheson Medical Center in case multi-lateral negotiations break down on Wednesday.

Commissioners said Erlanger Health System, the Chattanooga hospital system that would invest more than $30 million into the failing Fort Oglethorpe hospital, essentially has said the current management agreement is its last offer.

The hospital authority of Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties will meet Wednesday night to vote on the agreement, which three other boards already have approved.

Commissioners expressed some concern that the board might vote down the agreement which includes a total of $20 million in pledges from Catoosa and Walker counties.

Commissioners want the Economic Development Authority to be prepared to issue a $10 million bond for the county to back Erlanger's investment in case the agreement fall through.

"Essentially, this is Catoosa County's 'Plan B,'" said Catoosa Commission Chairman Keith Greene.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.