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More interest in former RVHS facility

As negotiations continue with Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital over its use of the former RVHS facility, more interested parties are stepping forward, county leaders said.

Friday, August 24, 2001

As negotiations continue with Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital over its use of the former RVHS facility, more interested parties are stepping forward, county leaders said.

Two management companies interested in the facility will make visits next week, the hospital’s court-appointed receiver, CPA Bob Payne, told county commissioners Thursday.

It was the second week Payne updated the county on negotiations for the debt-plagued facility, which closed this winter over financial troubles.

The management companies interest, as well as separate interest from a group of doctors, prompts the county to feel positive about the facility’s future, commission president Paul Herrell said.

"It’s going to open," Herrell said. "And, we’ll insist on having a 24-hour emergency room."

The receiver also is currently working with Dr. Tony Virgin on reopening the Aid medical clinic under a lease with an option to buy.

Commissioners also have approved a state-requested survey concerning new jail construction.

The survey details what Lawrence County officials want – a new jail for Lawrence County only, 100-120 beds, enough space for jail operations.

A new jail would also meet current standards, such as providing recreation and medical exam areas.

Commissioners mailed the survey to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which asked for the details in an Aug. 10 letter.

"The Bureau of Adult Detention is in the process of preparing its biennial request to the legislature for additional jail construction and renovation funds If your county has plans to apply for a jail construction/renovation grant in 2002, please complete and return the attached survey ," wrote Scott E. Blough, bureau administrator.

While there is no guarantee that additional jail construction funds will be available, a needs assessment is necessary to make the request before the legislature, Blough wrote.

In other action, commissioners:

– Received a petition for water service from residents of Township Road 187E, Honeysuckle Lane. Residents want service from Lawrence Water.

– Approved a modified agreement with the Forest Service for a maximum reimbursement of $60,000 to repair County Road 29 in case of damage due to the Vesuvius Dam repair project.

– Approved a Union-Rome Sewer Advisory Board measure that states, "effective Oct. 1, 2001, all inactive accounts will be billed a minimum of $12 per month per unit."