City works to keep hospital from closing

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - Recently the City of Piggott forgave a $445,000 utilities bill owed by the Piggott Community Hospital.

Now, the city is working with the hospital to save it from shutting down.

Mayor Jim Poole said a working meeting with the hospital and city council members will be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Poole said at this meeting hospital administrators will present ways of reducing expenses and increasing services to make more money.

The city is also looking into changing the hospital's utility bill from a commercial rate to an industrial rate to help with expenses.

He said this would save the hospital about $18,000 each month.

"We're going to make a big effort, the hospital is number one to us, in employment," he said.  "We're going to save it, whatever it takes."

Poole said rumors about citizen's utility rates being raised have been flying around town, but no one's rates will be affected except the hospital's.

"Whatever the rumors are that it's increasing your bill it's not, it's not true," he said.

Mayor Poole said the hospital would have closed four years ago if it weren't for the efforts made by the hospital board.

The board worked to find ways to increase services and revenue and now they will look for more options to do just that.

Poole said the hospital is a major asset to the community and the city will work alongside them to make sure they avoid closing.

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