County Commission Chairman Irwin Bagwell said the board isn’t planning to take up the proposed H2U First Onsite contract at its Tuesday session.
A vote was deferred at the March 13 meeting to allow time for attorneys to craft an intergovernmental agreement.
Bagwell said during Thursday’s agenda-setting session that he’s directed County Manager Blaine Williams to research how employee clinics are handled in Bartow and Troup counties and the city of Camden.
“We want to see how theirs are working out so we know what to put in the intergovernmental agreement,” he said. “I don’t forsee it being done by Tuesday.”
The board caucuses at 4 p.m. and starts its business meeting at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. Both meetings are open to the public.
Tuesday will be the last meeting for Commissioners Eddie Lumsden and Chad Whitefield, who are stepping down to seek Georgia General Assembly seats.
That will leave just three board members — Bagwell and Commissioners John Mayes and Garry Fricks — until the vacancies are filled in a July 31 election.
Current board rules require a minimum of three votes to pass an agenda item, and the controversial clinic issue has already resulted in two rare split votes.
A joint committee selected the plan from H2U, a Redmond Regional Medical Center affiliate, out of eight submitted in response to a 2010 request for proposals.
But Fricks and Bagwell presented on Feb. 20 a draft offer from Floyd Medical Center they said would be cheaper. Whitefield was among those who expressed surprise and concern at the late entry, but he sided with Fricks and Bagwell on Feb. 28 to defer a vote on the H2U proposal until a formal contract was in hand.
Lumsden and Mayes were against the delay. When a formal contract was presented at the March 13 session they sought to put it to a vote. But Bagwell and Fricks asked for a second deferment, pending an intergovernmental agreement with Rome.
Whitefield, who owns a physical rehabilitation business that interacts with both local hospitals, abstained, and the issue was bumped to this Tuesday’s meeting.
Rome Mayor Evie McNiece said Thursday the City Commission has already approved the bid and the contract and was prepared with an intergovernmental agreement.
She said a joint committee visited clinics in Gainesville, Chattanooga and LaFayette before recommending H2U and she’s disappointed the initiative has apparently stalled.
“But I’m more disappointed for the employees,” McNiece said. “This could create better access to good health, with decreased costs to them and to both governments.”
County commissioners have a relatively light agenda Tuesday.
Public hearings are scheduled in regard to a request to put a manufactured home on a Halstead Smith Road parcel and on an ordinance that would let alcohol be served at Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority facilities when they are rented for private parties.