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Fulton Settles Land Dispute With Bankrupt Hospital, Will Receive More Than $300,000

The City of Fulton will earn more than $300,000 from its settlement with the former Lee Memorial Hospital.

The Fulton Common Council approved two agreements in a special meeting Tuesday night.  The agreements eliminate the city’s claim to the land beneath the hospital and the medical office building next door.  The vote was unanimous, 4-0, with Council members Kim Roy and Dan Knopp absent.

City officials inserted the city into Lee Memorial’s bankruptcy proceedings at the last minute, after learning that the original agreement that turned Lee Memorial over from the city to a private non-profit group contained a clause that gave the land back to the city if the hospital ever closed.

The city will receive:

  • $175,000 for giving up its claim to the land beneath the former hospital;
  • $25,000 for giving up its claim to the land beneath the medical office building next door;
  • At least $137,466 in delinquent taxes when the medical office building is sold by the bankrupt hospital to Oswego Health.

Lee Memorial’s creditors also agreed to give up a claim that the city owed the defunct hospital nearly $13,000 in payments for water and sewer services.

“I think we did the best we could do.  The alternative was to go to trial.  It would take two years and cost $50,000,” said Mayor Ron Woodward.

Alderman Tom Kenyon praised the administration for “sticking to our guns instead of just getting the water bill (dismissed)….It’s the best deal we could get.”

“Everybody stuck together and we got something for the taxpayers,” said Alderman Daryl Hayden.

Woodward said Oswego Health will buy the medical office building and intends to continue to use it as office space for doctors and specialists.

While the urgent care center that Oswego Health operates inside the former hospital is exempt from property taxes, Woodward said the medical office building will stay on the tax rolls.

4 Comments

  1. I feel that the public should of been a part of this deal process regarding the land from the former A.L .Lee Memorial hospital. After – all, if it belongs to the city of Fulton and it should of been a open session and we the tax payers should of gotten to VOTE on it. Not another back -room deal . I don’t understand why no one went after the former C.E.O. and their Asst. C.E.O. ? They were the ones that poorly mismanaged it to begin with. Why is their no legal action regarding that administration ?= What they do with all the money they had ? The former employees from A.L. Lee memorial got nothing for a severus package and the C.E.O’s got a nice hefty chunk for created all of this. NOW, OSWEGO HEALTH owns ALL of OSWEGO COUNTY. Can you say i SMELL A SKUNK ? Pure politics as usual in Oswego County ! Thanks for hearing my voice/ opinion and letting me VOICE my CONCERN ( S ) !

  2. Even though I am on the opposing side with the upcoming election, I give kudos to the Mayor, and to the Common Council for brokering a fair deal for the city’s land claim.

    It could have been much worse.

  3. Good job! Alderman Kenyon. I think anyone that has followed this episode knows that until you and Alderman Franco spoke up the rest of the council,Mayor, and Attorney (who knows what he charged) were ready to settle for a $12,000 water bill they were behind in anyway. What a deal that would be. As Alderman Hayden (past mayor) said “everyone stuck together and we got something for the taxpayers” But we know they werent going to and now they are praising their fine devotion to us taxpayers. I only hope that this settlement means the Mayor will not raise taxes as he claimed he might have to in sundays paper.Might be a good thing because i dont know where i would get 2% more income to pay my taxes let alone any increase in my income for day to day expenses. Maybe the city can take my house like so many other that cant afford the taxes anymore and sell it. Lets do more for the taxpayers so we can keep our homes we worked and paid for. Do you think? Keep up the good work Alderman Kenyon and Franco we need guys like you to keep the rest in check.

  4. Thank you Mayor Woodward for guiding the Fulton City Council to this bankruptcy settlement. I know I disagreed with you, Mayor, and Council President Jay Foster when you were determined to fight for the full amount owed our City in this land claim.
    I thought we should accept the $12,000 water bill payment, and move on with the Urgent Care renovations as quickly as possible. But you stood fast to your conviction that we owed it to the residents of Fulton to collect their full amounts due them. You were right, Mayor, to press forward for the residents.
    And thank you to the Fulton City Council for unanimously voting to pursue the full amount owed the City.

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