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Senator Gainer, Representative Drake hold meeting in Jackson County Featured

 Representative Brade Drake and George Gainer Representative Brade Drake and George Gainer

Senator George Gainer and Representative Brad Drake had a busy day Monday as their day started in Walton County, with stops in Holmes and Washington before their final stop in Marianna at 2:15.  The meeting allowed several people to speak, say thank you and make their needs known for the coming budget year.  

Chipola College President Dr. Sarah Clemmons spoke of not only the needs of Chipola College but the many achievements Chipola has earned this year including a National Baseball Championship.  Clemmons spoke of the need of a STEM building project that has an $11-million-dollar building cost attached to it.  She spoke of a $3 million dollar cut they had suffered that would also be in need of assistance from the state.  Senator Gainer praised the previous presidents who had served Chipola but was quick to say, “Dr. Clemmons has done an outstanding job and we are lucky to have her.”  

John Alter gave updates on the Bascom School project saying they had raised over $80,000 in local funding.  He acknowledged Senator Gainer as being involved and supportive of the renovation project of Bascom School.  

Superintendent of Schools Larry Moore addressed the legislators and thanked them for all of their hard work and support in getting the funding for the K-8 school. Moore told Gainer and Drake that Sneads Elementary has a new distinction of being named by the Department of Education as one of Florida’s “Schools of Excellence” and the Sneads High School volleyball team had won their fifth straight state championship under Coach Sheila Roberts last Friday.  He concluded with a sincere thank you for their continued support of Jackson County Schools.

City manager Jim Dean introduced firefighters and paramedics and thanked both Gainer and Drake for their hard work towards the funding they pushed through legislation last session.  He also asked for assistance for this year’s legislative session for help in securing $3 million to continue to update an 80-year old building that the fire department is presently housed and a 50-year old warehouse where the police department is presently house.  Dean also thanked both legislators for their support of the K-8 school that his grandchildren would be attending.  

The crust of the meeting dealt with the legislators being requested to address a proposed bill that would amend the legislation that authorized the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital District being established many years ago.  The passing of this amendment would allow the sale of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital to a potential buyer.  There is a glitch presently in that the legislation does not permit the hospital’s Board of Trustees to sell its assets.  Representative Brad Drake agreed to put forth a proposed bill with Senator George Gainer’s support that would essentially give the power to the Board if the bill is adopted.  The proposed bill is below for our readers’ review.  The proposed bill could go through changes once it is reviewed by legislators but the nuts and bolts of the bill are spelled out in the proposal. 

 

House Bill No.

An act relating to Jackson County; amending chapter 61-2290 and chapter 86-455, Laws of Florida, as amended, authorizing the Board of Trustees of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital District and the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation to enter into contracts and agreements for the lease, lease with option, or sale of hospital and district real and personal property; providing for the dissolution of the District and the continued existence and operations of the Corporation; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1. Sections 18,19,20,21, and 22 are added to chapter 61-2290, Laws of Florida, as amended, to read:

Section 18. The authority and power of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital District and the Board of County Commissioners of Jackson County to assess, levy or collect any ad valorem property taxes for the uses of the Hospital District or Hospital Corporation is hereby suspended and repealed, effective for the calendar (tax) year beginning January 1,2018. Without limiting the foregoing, no real property ad valorem taxes may be assessed or used for the purpose of consummating any sale of District or Hospital Corporation assets.

Section 19. The Board of Trustees of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation and Hospital District shall have the authority to enter into and perform under contracts and agreements for the lease, long- or short-term, lease with option, or sale of hospital real and personal property (including the hospital and clinic buildings and lands) with corporations either for profit or not for profit, duly authorized to do business in the state. The following shall control, in lieu of any other provisions of state law (including, but not limited to, Chapter 155, Florida Statutes).

By resolution, the Board of Trustees of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation may elect to enter into such contracts or agreements as stated in the foregoing provisions of Section 19, with regard to any or all of its assets, including real property, improvements, accounts receivable, choses in action, standing accounts and indebtedness, fixtures, equipment, and other chattels, if the Board of Trustees of the Hospital Corporation finds that such contracts or agreements are in the best interest of the residents of the Hospital District. The terms and conditions of any such contract, agreement, or lease and the conditions, covenants, and agreements to be contained therein shall be mutually determined by the Board of Trustees of the Hospital Corporation and the contracting or purchasing or leasing corporation. The Board of Trustees of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation is expressly authorized (but not required) to enter into such contracts and agreements, with or without the requirement that the hospital buildings or properties continue to be used for general hospital or health care purposes.

The authority of the Board of Trustees to enter into any past or fixture contracts for such leases, leases with options, or sales of any or all of the real or personal property of the District or of the Corporation (including, but not limited to, agreements related to the any portion or all of the provisions of the Letter Of Intent of June 29,2017, submitted by Northwest Florida Healthcare, Inc.) is hereby confirmed and ratified.

The provisions of this act relating to the sale of District or Hospital Corporation assets or properties shall control in lieu of any provisions of Chapter 155, Florida Statutes. Neither the District nor the Hospital Corporation shall be required to obtain the approval of any state agency or officer with respect to any such sale.

Nothing in this act shall be deemed to limit the authority of any court having competent jurisdiction over the assets or business of the Hospital Corporation.

Section 20. In the event of a sale of the hospital building and real property (currently shown as Jackson County Property Tax ID Number 35-7N-13-0000-0070-0000 on the 2017 count property tax rolls), upon the consummation of the sale, the Hospital District (but not the Hospital Corporation) shall expire and be dissolved at the end of the fiscal year during which the sale is consummated. In the event of such a sale, the following shall control and apply:

a) All of the proceeds of the sale shall be used, first, for the costs of the transaction, and second, for the payment of debts of the Hospital District or the Hospital Corporation which are secured by assets being sold, and third, for the payment of other debts of the Hospital District. After the payment of all of the debts of the Hospital District, all of the remainder of any property and assets (both real and personal, tangible or intangible, including any choses in action) shall devolve to and be owned by the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation.

Section 21. In the event that no sale of the hospital building and real property (currently shown as Jackson County Property Tax ID Number 35-7N-13-0000-0070-0000 on the 2017 county property tax rolls) is consummated on or before December 31, 2019, then the Hospital District (but not the Hospital Corporation) shall expire and he dissolved as of September 30, 2020.

Section 22. In the event of any dissolution of the Hospital District, whether under this law or otherwise under law or order of any court of competent jurisdiction, all real and personal property (including all tangible and intangible property of any and all kinds) remaining owned by or in the possession of the Hospital District shall be deemed owned by or transferred by operation of law to the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation, which shall continue In existence as set forth in this chapter, and ail indebtedness of the District shall be and is assumed by the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Corporation.

Section 2. Chapters 61-2290 and 86-455, Laws of Florida, are hereby expressly amended to provide for the foregoing, anything to the contrary in Chapters 61-2290 and 86-455 being deemed repealed and of no further effect. The foregoing provisions related to the lease or sale of the hospital real or personal property shall control, in lieu of any provisions of Chapter 155, Florida Statutes. The foregoing provisions related to the dissolution or expiration of the Hospital District shall control, in lieu of any provisions of Chapter 189, Florida Statutes.

Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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