By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- Following a closed-door session on Wednesday, the Massena Town Council ratified a non-disclosure agreement that the town supervisor brings them a bit closer to a Massena Memorial Hospital asset transfer deal.
“The board authorized me to sign a non-disclosure agreement that basically says we’re not going to disclose the information we’re negotiating … details of the transfer. The hospital’s attorney and our attorney worked back and forth over the last few weeks to finalize the terms of our agreement,” Town Supervisor Joe Gray said.
MMH is in the process of becoming a private, non-profit entity. The Town of Massena now owns them.
Part of the transition process is negotiating how the town will be compensated for losing the MMH asset.
He said town and hospital officials with their attorneys recently traveled to Albany
and met with Department of Health officials to discuss MMH privatization.
“We discussed what works and what doesn’t work, what may work,” Gray said. “We talked about concepts … whatever deal we broker, will ensure the new corporation is financially viable.
“We need to come up with an agreement that I believe, in my opinion, needs to compensate the town for its facility, but allows the new corporation being formed… ensures they’re financially viable. If we said we want $20M from the new corporation, that’s not going to work.”
MMH CEO Robert Wolleben has said during past hospital board meetings that he would like to see MMH privatized by December.
“The Dec. 31 deadline may be optimistic, but we’re going to work toward it like it’s going to happen,” Gray said.