As reported, Wednesday night one of Hutcheson’s many boards voted to put the hospital in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Unfortunately the purpose of that move isn’t to fix the hospital’s problems or protect taxpayers from being held responsible for millions in debt – it’s only intended to delay and complicate Erlanger’s efforts to foreclose.
Bankruptcy does nothing get Walker or Catoosa out of trouble; both counties will be left owing over $20 million each in hospital debt regardless of Hutcheson staying open or closing. A bankruptcy filing only prolongs the inevitable and protects current Hutcheson administrators’ jobs (for now) while the place continues to burn down financially.
The bankruptcy filing highlights again how complex the hospital is structured, with multiple boards all in charge and none of them accountable to the taxpayer. The filing also shows Hutcheson’s priorities over the last few years: An included list of creditors shows lots of lawyers and bill collectors owed money by the failing medical center, and very little owed to suppliers of medical services or equipment.
During the final court-ordered public hearing for Hutcheson, in Dade earlier this week, the CEO asked people to pray for the hospital, continued pretending a foreclosure would be a bad thing, and said they’ve added MORE BOARDS to the hospital’s existing half-dozen boards to “fix” what’s broken.
What’s needed to fix what’s broken at Hutcheson is a complete clean sweep of management. The only way to GET that soon is to allow foreclosure to move forward so a new owner can restructure the hospital – the very thing current leaders are spending time and money to block.
OSHA has cited Nissin Brake for multiple serious safety violations. If not corrected, safety issues could cost the company $53,000 – and could cost employees dying, or at least being seriously injured.
Specific problems cited include removing safety guards and lock-outs so machinery doesn’t run while being serviced, poor employee training, and not providing employees with proper safety equipment.
Walker County has been given a fake award by the state for landing the Audia Plastics warehouse deal in Noble.
Other counties that won the same award landed deals bringing hundreds of new jobs into their communities, but Walker County and Audia
have yet to nail down ANY kind of job numbers for the $24-million SPLOST project.
Other examples of the award: Bryan County got mid-size community award for a deal bringing in 180 jobs. Douglas County got an award for a deal guaranteeing work for 550 by 2019. So how many jobs do WE get for the $24 million SPLOST project?
UPDATE: After LU again called out the county, and state, for not releasing job figures related to the Audia Plastics development deal, some numbers were sent out to the media.
Per WQCH, the finished factory on a former farm in Noble (projected to cost the county $24 million plus tax breaks) will employ 150.
WQCH Radio, 11/20/14: “WHAT HAD BEEN HELD AS A RATHER ‘CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET’ WAS REVEALED AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY MONDAY: AUDIA INTERNATIONAL WILL EMPLOY AROUND 150 WORKERS WHEN PRODUCTION BEGINS NEXT YEAR. THOSE EMPLOYEES WILL EARN A HIGHER-THAN-AVERAGE WAGE FOR THIS AREA, ACCORDING TO STATE OFFICIALS.
“THE NEW AUDIA PLANT SIZE HAS ALREADY BEEN DOUBLED SINCE THE PROJECT BEGAN. IT WILL COVER OVER 280-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET, WITH 54-MILLION DOLLARS INVESTED IN THE PROJECT. AUDIA IS AN INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIER TO THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY. THE WALKER COUNTY PLANT IS SLATED TO OPEN IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2015.”
If true, that’s good news. But it’s hard to believe, considering Audia’s largest existing sites around the globe employ less than 100 people each.
They originally said the place would open this fall, then next spring. By the time this is said and done it’ll be projected to open after the 2016 elections and this will be the current commissioner’s main campaign effort.
Also, higher than the average wage isn’t necessarily a lot. $8 an hour would probably top what a lot of people make in Walker County. Don’t hold your breath on this until you actually see people hired, working, and being paid.
Read More >>