GETTING CLOSE: Sale near for old hospital property

COLUMBIA CITY — Peter Mallers, an attorney representing Parkview Health System Inc., attended the County Commissioner’s meeting Monday concerning the purchase agreement of the old hospital property in Columbia City.“This occasion is the second part of the presentation and the request made more than a year ago, February, 2011, related to the construction of the new hospital and the sale of the old hospital property,” said Mallers.“That was for the specific purpose of the sale of the Lemburg building, and today is for the specific sale of the hospital property, again to Passages Inc.”Mallers said there was probably not a specific reason why the county would need to give approval.“We thought let’s just tie up any loose ends and make sure any questions are answered,” said Mallers.Commissioner Don Amber said he thought the hospital land and building were owned by the citizens of Whitley County, and it would revert back to the county when the land was no longer wanted.“It started out with donations and then was built by tax money,” said Amber. Attorney Dan Sigler said he thought the issue is whether the hospital building was on a lot or lots that were deeded in the hospital’s name or in the county’s name. “My guess is the county transferred ownership of the property to the hospital board,” said Sigler.Mallers said attached to the underlying agreement was an agreement to transfer assets and assume obligations to Whitley County Memorial Hospital as grantee.“Parkview is the parent company to Whitley County Memorial Hospital,” said Mallers.Since the commissioners still needed to authorize the termination of the EMS lease between Whitley Memorial Hospital Inc. and the county, the motion was to terminate the lease, and it was approved.