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NRMC 2010 audit in

NATCHEZ — Natchez Regional Medical Center’s 2010 fiscal year operations income was less than half of its 2009 operations income, even though the hospital took in 5 percent more revenue in 2010.

NRMC fiscal year is Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

The 52-percent drop in operations income from $3.48 million in 2009 to $1.64 million in 2010 can be mostly attributed to the expense of opening three new clinics in 2010, NRMC Chief Financial Officer Charles Mock told the Adams County Board of Supervisors Monday.

“We opened three clinics, (which) take a little while to get going,” Mock said.

NRMC Public Information Officer Kay Ketchings said the hiring of three new doctors in 2010 resulted in the opening of two brand new clinics and the expansion of one.

The Jackson Heart of Natchez Cardiology Clinic opened with the hiring of Cardiologist Dr. Brad Lemay, the Natchez Regional Surgery Clinic opened with the hiring of Dr. Hendrik Kuiper and the NRMC gynecology clinic expanded with the hiring of Dr. Beverly Love, OB-GYN.

Revenues increased 5 percent from $40.11 million in 2009 to $42.3 in 2010.

Mock and Natchez Regional Medical Center President Bill Heburn appeared at Monday’s meeting to present the hospital’s 2010 audit summary, which was performed by Horne CPAs and Business Advisors.

The audit summary says $998,000 was used for investing activities in 2010 compared to $252,000 in the same category in 2009.

The audit summary says NRMC incurred $2.22 million in charity care expenses in 2010 compared to $2.56 million in 2009.

The hospital’s cash flow in fiscal year 2010 was negative $451,000 compared to positive $449,000 in 2009, the data says.

“We paid off some of the bankruptcy debts incurred,” Mock said when explaining the negative cash flow.

Mock said the hospital will have paid off a 12-month bankruptcy debt program by next year.

The hospital currently owes between $160,000 and $180,000 each month for bankruptcy payments, Mock said.

Mock said NRMC employs 408 people compared to approximately 500 employees when the hospital filed for bankruptcy in February 2009.

Mock said NRMC has made financial gains since the close of the most recent fiscal year.

“We have gains from October (2010) through February (2011),” Mock said. “March is not closed out yet.”

District 2 Supervisor Henry Watts said he was pleased the hospital is on its way to paying off bankruptcy debts and prior credits.

“It looks like the hospital is going to be put out of the red and get into the black,” Watts said.

The board passed a unanimous motion to accept NRMC’s audit.

In other news from Monday’s meeting:

• District 5 Supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter asked the board to consider a petition asking the county to take over the maintenance of portions of three privately-owned roads. The roads include the ends of Coventry Road, Wildlife Way and Community Chapel Road.

Felter said his motion would exclude drainage and blacktop from the maintenance.

“Just maintain (the roads) where the county can grade it,” Felter said.

County Engineer Jim Marlow said he was unsure of the legality of taking over partial maintenance because of a county subdivision ordinance.

The motion was passed unanimously that the county maintain the roads in question pending a legal investigating by board attorney Bobby Cox.

• District 1 Supervisor Mike Lazarus said children have lately been found swimming in the creek at Providence Park, where alligators roam.

Lazarus was concerned about liabilities of children swimming in the alligator-infested waters.

Board President Darryl Grennell asked Cox if the county is liable if a kayaker gets injured by an alligator in the creek.

Cox said he would investigate the matter to see if the county’s insurance policy recommends placing a warning sign in the area.

• A Beau Pré Road resident appeared at the meeting with a petition to approve a speed hump on Beau Pré Road. The petition with more than 30 signatures was approved at the board’s last meeting.

Watts explained, however, that after talking with Cox and County Administrator Tommy O’Beirne, they discovered the petition in question does not follow guidelines of the policy for speed humps. The policy requires 75 percent of all residents, but the petition asks only for 1 member of each household.

Grennell made a motion that the supervisors compose a standard speed hump petition that better corresponds to the policy. The board agreed to the suggestion unanimously.

The Beau Pré resident, who preferred to be unnamed, said school busses often dangerously speed through her neighborhood.

Watts made a motion to write a letter to the Natchez-Adams School Board addressing school buses that speed. The motion passed unanimously.

• Grennell said deadline to submit applications for the Adams County administrator was 5 p.m. Monday.

The board had accepted nine applications by Monday morning, Grennell said. He said he would soon begin setting up interviews for the position.

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