BCNC Sold ‘A very positive step’

With only a “few final tweaks” to be made in the contract, Bamberg County Council voted unanimously after a public hearing and a third and final reading to approve an ordinance authorizing the county administrator, the county chairman, and “any other people that are necessary” to enter into a contractual arrangement with UHS-Pruitt for the sale and transfer of the Bamberg County Nursing Center at its December 8, 2008 meeting.

Council members the Rev. Isaiah Odom, Alzena Robinson, William H. Nimmons, Clair Guess, and Chris Wilson voted in-favor of the ordinance. Council members Dorothy Tatum, and Clint Carter were not present at the meeting.

“We have a few final tweaks that need to be done on the contract, we have done a third reading and will enter a contract,” Bamberg County Council Chairman Chris Wilson said after the vote.

Though the contract will need some “tweaking” Councilman Clair Guess added that “the basic terms are acceptable.”

In the public comments portion of the meeting after the vote, Denmark resident Sarah Noel asked if a copy of the ordinance was available.

Chairman Wilson stated that a copy of the ordinance will be publicized, however the actual contract and terms will not be released until the deal is actually closed.

The sale of the nursing center to UHS-Pruitt brings to an end a year of difficult decision making for county council, the hospital board of trustees, and the county.

“Bamberg County Council, the hospital board, and the county as a whole for the last- more than a year has been faced with some very difficult decisions with respect to the hospital and nursing center,” Council Chairman Chris Wilson said.

“As we’ve moved along and continue tonight to make the decisions we think are in the best interest of continued health care of the county, and continued operation of the nursing center and the hospital, this is a very positive step in that regard. We look forward to working with UHS-Pruitt in their operation of the nursing center in a very strong joint relationship,” Wilson said.