Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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County gives official approval for hospital lease agreement

It was more of a formality than anything, but the Colusa County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the terms of a lease agreement with American Specialty Health Care for the hospital property in Colusa.

The lease is for a period of three years, and includes stipulations that American Specialty maintain an emergency room and support services, and that it will have the hospital up and operating within 18 months.

“Back in August, this board basically approved these terms when it consented to the transfer and transaction with American Specialty, to transfer the lease to American Specialty from Colusa Regional Medical Center,” county counsel Marcos Kropf said to the board. “At that point, we had proposed these amended terms to the lease agreement. Our consent was contingent on approval of these lease terms by American Specialty.”

He explained that the new lessee had recently signed off on the terms, and that the board’s action yesterday would finalize the deal and authorize a signature on the amended lease.

The terms of the lease provide some extra protections for the county, including increased rent, and a requirement for American Specialty to diligently pursue their licensure.

“It also provides some financial protections so we can avoid a similar situation to what happened with Colusa Regional Medical Center, hopefully,” Kropf said.

Supervisor Mark Marshall noted that one of the more important stipulations in the agreement was that American Specialty maintain the emergency room and support services.

“That’s what we were really after,” Marshall said. “…The terms of the lease is three years. We have some assurances that the hospital will be up and going within 18 months, I believe the agreement says. We expect that to happen prior to that.”

Marshall added that he knew licensing would be an issue. He indicated that Colusa County CAO Wendy Tyler and Kropf would be touring the facility with representatives from American Specialty “so we can move forward.”

The board approved the amended agreement unanimously, and also unanimously consented to a lease assignment agreement for American Specialty — also described as a formality by Kropf.

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