The Board of Directors of CaroMont Health and the Gaston County Board of
Commissioners have come to an agreement that will amend the existing lease
for the structure and property that houses CaroMont Regional Medical Center.
The amendment defines financial contributions that CaroMont Health will
make to Gaston County to enable the hospital to continue operating at
its current location at 2525 Court Drive in Gastonia.
William “Gus” Anthony, Chair of the CaroMont Health Board of
Directors, communicated the acceptance of the terms to Tracy Philbeck,
Chairman of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners. The amendment includes
a significant increase in financial contributions to the County, as well
as other commitments that support health services and economic development
initiatives in Gaston County. In return, the amended lease will grant
new governance and business freedoms to CaroMont Health. The Gaston County
Board of Commissioners will vote to accept the amendment during a special
meeting on March 12, 2015.
“Over the last eight months, we (the Board of Directors at CaroMont
Health) have worked with Gaston County to develop and refine this offer
to ensure it will provide benefit to the citizens of Gaston County,”
said Anthony. “This agreement will strengthen the financial state
of the County and also allow CaroMont Health to finally feel confident
that we are in a position to retain our long-term stability as an independent
Jason Williams, Gaston County Commissioner and liaison to the CaroMont
Health Board, noted the incredible cooperation it has taken to get to
this point. “This is a positive step for Gaston County and for CaroMont
Health,” said Williams. “The strength of our partnership will
ensure that our citizens, their children and their grandchildren will
continue to benefit from having a local, independent health system dedicated
to investing in the community and the lives of its citizens.”
CaroMont Health will make the following payments and provide the following
benefits to Gaston County:
- CaroMont Health will make a one-time, $20 million payment to Gaston County
on the effective date of the amendment.
- Over the next decade, CaroMont Health agrees to make $200 million in campus-based
capital investments and will use its best efforts and reasonable business
judgment to ensure that local contractors and construction workers are
preferred for associated jobs.
- CaroMont Health will contribute $450,000 per year for community health
promotion and investment in the development of active lifestyle options
in Gaston County. Such payments will be directed by the Board of Commissioners,
provided that CaroMont Health’s current support of multiple community
health projects are recognized.
Gaston County agrees to the following revisions of the terms and conditions
of the current lease agreement:
- The term of the agreement will extend through 2055 (40 years).
- The CaroMont Health Board of Directors and the Gaston County Board of Commissioners
will share governance and appointments to the CaroMont Board.
- The right to make business decisions on financing and joint venture arrangements
will be transferred to the CaroMont Health Board of Directors.
What this means for CaroMont Health and Gaston County:
“This agreement creates a solid foundation for growth and development
at CaroMont Health,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO of CaroMont
Health. “Our goal has always been to be a provider of high-quality
health care, while contributing to our community. The financial contributions
from this agreement will help support education, spur economic development
in the County and fund needed health services, among other projects and
functions. We see this as an investment in the future of Gaston County
and its citizens.”
The intent of the agreement is to end more than a decade of ongoing discussion
and negotiation between the Commission and CaroMont Health, something
that both sides have been eager to do for quite some time.
“Our relationship with the Commission continues to be very positive,
and that is a testament to the work being done on both sides to build
trust and strong relationships,” said Luckett. “I’ve
spoken a lot recently about the importance of remaining independent to
keep healthcare services and jobs in our community. With this long-term
agreement in place, we can have the surety to invest in the property and
build a better platform for advanced health care offerings in Gaston County.”
“I am so pleased with the work we have done to bring this lease to
close on behalf of Gaston County and its citizens,” said Philbeck.
“We are fortunate to have an outstanding healthcare provider in
our community and this deal will help ensure that we keep CaroMont Health
here for decades to come.”
The vote and signing of the agreement will take place at 10:30 a.m. on
Thursday, March 12, 2015 in the Dogwood/Magnolia Rooms at CaroMont Regional
Medical Center (2525 Court Drive in Gastonia).