Hospital sale has resulted in funds for community

Financial activity is looking up for the Shelby County Community Health Foundation.

&uot;We’re looking for a good year,&uot; said Foundation board member Butch Burbage, who made a report to the County Commission recently.

&uot;The stock market has rebounded and we’ve taken advantage of it.&uot;

Burbage presented the foundation’s audit for Oct. 1, 2000, through Sept. 30, 2002, as well as financial statements for the board.

According to Burbage, before Sept. 11, 2001, total assets were more than $56 million.

Currently, the fund sits at $54.95 million, a number Burbage said they expect will grow with alternative investments.

&uot;If the market continues up, we should see $56 million or more, a new high (this year),&uot; he said.

The Shelby County Community Health Foundation was established in 1997 with the $45 million for which Shelby County’s hospital was sold to Baptist Health Systems.

According to Burbage, that $45 million base has remained intact, and the fund has increased to the current $54.95 million.

In addition, he said, some $12 million has been disbursed to the community.

&uot;We made the right decision (in selling the hospital),&uot; said Commissioner Don Armstrong.

&uot;It has had a positive effect on the county.&uot;

A four-mill property tax was removed with the sale to Baptist as well, said commissioner Ted Crockett.

Burbage said during the past year, about $1.5 million was disbursed to county health needs including the public health department, the fire departments and volunteer fire departments, Chilton/Shelby Mental Health and the schools.

&uot;Money is used solely for Shelby County and Shelby County residents,&uot; he said.

Others receiving funds during the past year were Shelby Emergency Assistance, Southern Family Health, the city of Montevallo, the city of Pelham, inmate care, SafeHouse, Shelby Senior Services, Family Connection, Pediatric Rehab, Kid One Transport and the Shelby County Education Foundation.

Burbage also reported the audit conducted by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts revealed no problems.