Natchez hospital bankruptcy petition filed

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News,Business,Mississippi,Bankruptcy

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — Natchez Regional Medical Center has filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition, and the hospital's trustees will meet with the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Hospital attorney Walter Brown's office tells The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/1m7MbcB ) the bankruptcy petition was filed Wednesday.

The hospital announced in February it would seek bankruptcy after administrators said its financial liabilities exceeded its assets by approximately $3 million. The petition is the first step in asking the federal court to grant the hospital bankruptcy status.

The announcement came after more than a half-year of marketing the hospital for sale. Hospital representatives said at the time of the bankruptcy announcement, a sale was in negotiation, a statement that was reaffirmed this month.

The hospital trustees are scheduled to meet with the county supervisors Thursday.

Supervisor Calvin Butler said he hopes long-standing financial questions the supervisors have will be answered at the meeting.

"I am looking forward to looking and seeing what has been going on and what has gotten us here," he said. "When we started (the sale process), everything was supposed to be good and it was a sure sale, and then all of a sudden we get a bankruptcy notice."

Supervisor David Carter said he looks forward to hearing what will be shared and what will be made public record with the filing the bankruptcy proceedings.

"I know the basics, but I think every citizen has a right to know some basic stuff that they have been excluded from in the past eight months," he said.

NRMC opened in 1960 as Jefferson Davis Memorial Hospital. Its $2.4 million construction was underwritten by an $800,000 local contribution and state and federal funds.

It has been financially independent since 1974 and does not receive tax support, but is backed by a 5-mill standby tax that the Mississippi Development Bank required the hospital get in 2006 when it asked for the MDB to reissue its revenue bond.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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