Massena Memorial CEO says asset transfer deal with town could be done by summer
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 7:00 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- Massena Memorial Hospital’s CEO says two big pieces of the hospital’s privatization process should be completed by the fall.

MMH CEO Robert Wolleben told the Board of Managers on Monday he believes the asset transfer agreement with the town could be complete by summer and the IRS application may be approved by fall.

The hospital and town need to reach a deal so Massena can be compensated for the asset they lose when the hospital privatizes. The Department of Health has already approved the certificate of need required for them to operate the new entity.

“We’ve had two conversations and a couple of side conversations with the town and the town’s representatives, their attorneys,” Wolleben said at the meeting. “We’re moving in a positive direction … looking at the summer time to have this process completed.”

He said they are setting up a data vault so they can share information the Town Council has requested as they draw up the deal. Wolleben said that includes materials such as financial statements, additional information about contracts hospital has established with vendors and “material related to the financial statements.”

He said the hospital and town have entered into what he described as a “joint messaging agreement.”

“We’re not going to say anything about how the process is going unless the town and hospital agree on what we’re going to say,” Wolleben said when asked about the exact nature of the agreement.

At their Wednesday meeting, the Town Council would not answer questions about the asset transfer when MMH local CSEA Vice President Kerrie French asked for an update.

“Anything we’ve discussed is of a confidential nature. I don’t think we should discuss it,” Councilman Steve O’Shaughnessy said at the Wednesday meeting.

With regard to the IRS non-profit application, Wolleben said it will largely depend on the IRS representative who handles it.

“The IRS application gets turned over to an IRS field agent. The speed at which the application moves is directly related to the amount off work the IRS field agent has … and the interest the IRS field agent has in moving this process along. You can only move an IRS field agent so quickly. We continue to say sometime in the fall,” he said at the Monday meeting, adding that it could be 6 to 10 months.