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City Has Tentative Deal to Settle Dispute Over Former Hospital

The former Lee Memorial Hospital, now the site of an urgent care center operated by Oswego Health.
<p>The former Lee Memorial Hospital, now the site of an urgent care center operated by Oswego Health.</p>

The city of Fulton has what the Mayor describes as a tentative agreement to end its claim to any part of the former Lee Memorial Hospital campus.

Mayor Ron Woodward said Tuesday that he and the city’s Clerk/Chamberlain met for five hours Monday with lawyers for the bankrupt hospital’s secured and unsecured creditors, officials of the former hospital, and a hearing officer appointed by the Bankruptcy Court judge.

Woodward said the court asked all parties not to reveal details of the discussions, but he said that the deal hammered out provides “what we feel the city should get out of the sale of the hospital.”

He briefed city lawmakers during a closed-door executive session Tuesday night and said afterwards that if all goes well, the deal could be complete within a week.

The Bankruptcy Court is overseeing the death of the former hospital.  It closed two years ago under a state order.  Oswego Health now operates its urgent care facility in part of the former hospital building and is renovating the rest of it to hold other medical services.

The original hospital was owned by the city.  The agreement that turned the hospital over to a private non-profit group contained a provision that said if the hospital ever shut down, the land beneath it would revert to the city.

The discovery of that old contract last year threatened to derail Oswego Health’s plans to add services and jobs to the former hospital.  The city worked out an agreement to allow Oswego Health to complete its purchase of the hospital building and land while leaving until later the issue of compensation for the city.

That issue now appears to be close to settled.

“It’s a fair offer. You won’t get anything better.  I’d recommend it,” Woodward said of the possible settlement. “It’s the best we can get.”

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4 Comments

  1. I think that this meeting about the former AL. Lee memorial hospital and the city of Fulton should of been open to the public. It’s only fair to hear each and everyone else’s voice on this matter. After – all, if their was a clause in the contract stating that if the former hospital closed then the city owned the land. So any tax payers from the city of Fulton should of been allowed to attend the Private executive session . It shouldn’t just be up to the Mayor of Fulton and the C.E.O. to come up with a compromise. It should of been a public debate and we also should of allowed the public to hear each sides proposal and then let the public decide how they want to move forward with all of this.

  2. Interesting that there might be a settlement…seems to me that back in July Oswego Health wanted the City of Fulton to give it away except Kenyon (1st Ward Alderman-now Mayoral candidate) and Franco (2nd Ward Alderman) said lets think about this first. Im glad that someone finally is looking out for the taxpayers (like Kenyon and Franco) instead of giving everything away. I hope the Mayor isnt just looking out for the taxpayers because its an election year. Seems to be the case any other time. Looking forward to a new election with hopefully new results

  3. I thought that the Fulton hospital was give to them as long as they kept it meaning the city of Fulton they have no rights selling it lets get the Fulton hospital back the HELL with Oswego

  4. Robert:

    The dispute is not over the hospital building. The non-profit that operated Lee Memorial until it closed has sold the building to Oswego Health. The dispute is over the land underneath the buildings. The city used to own and operate the hospital. When it turned the hospital over to a non-profit in the 1970s, the agreement was that the new Lee Memorial had to give the land — and only the land — back to the city. There’s little point in the city keeping the land — it would have to spend taxpayer money to mow the lawns and maintain it. So the city is, apparently, getting something in return for giving the land to Oswego Health. As one commenter noted, Oswego Health wanted the city to give up the land for free, so this may be better than that for taxpayers.

    As for getting a hospital back, it’s pretty simple, unfortunately. The state will not allow it. The state closed Lee Memorial and will not sign a permit to allow another hospital to operate here.

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