Community voices try to save Hutcheson Medical Center
By WRCB Staff
RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) -
Community members in north Georgia were on a mission Tuesday night to prove the impact a struggling medical center has on their region. The meeting is in response to Erlanger's ongoing attempt to foreclose on the hospital.
Three years ago Erlanger Medical System stepped in and loaned the cash-strapped hospital the 20-million dollars it needed to stay open. And Hutcheson has been behind on payments. Erlanger executives say commissioners in Walker, Dade, and Catoosa Counties need to come up with payment plans quickly, or Erlanger will proceed with foreclosure..
Some commissioners say the debt is impossible to fill on Erlanger's timeline.
Bebe Heiskel, Walker County Commissioner, "Walker County is not as wealthy a county as some of the others that have a lot of retail business, and collect sales tax, so I that's the reason I had to raise taxes this year, and that was practically like murder. So you know, if I have to, I will, but I need to hear from the community that they want this happen."
Two more community meetings will be held in the coming weeks on November 13th and November 18th.