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Commission asks for RVHS reports

The Lawrence County Commission decided Thursday to take a different route to get to the bottom of why the old River Valley Hospital closed.

They passed a resolution asking the court-appointed receiver for the hospital, South Point accountant Robert Payne, to issue a report as to why the hospital had financial problems and why it closed.

They also passed resolutions asking Payne to report to them on the status of repayment of employees and that the former workers be given priority status and be paid all the money that is owed them. When the hospital closed, some employees had accrued vacation and sick days. They have requested they be paid for those days. The board has passed similar resolutions in support of the former employees in the past.

Last month, the commission asked the FBI for a status report on its audit of the facility. The county leaders had asked for the audit when the hospital closed its doors in late January, 2001. They have yet to hear back from the federal government.

Also Thursday, Commissioner George Patterson suggested the board send a letter to county officeholders, asking them to curb expenses for the remainder of the year.

"We need carryover dollars for next year's budget," Patterson said.

"I think officeholders have done all they can. They have not replaced employees who have gone elsewhere or retired," Commission President Jason Stephens said. "I think they've done the best they can with what they've got."