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Hospital Board discusses loan amendment

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Houston County Hospital District LogoBy Jan White
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CROCKETT – At the Houston County Hospital District board meeting on Nov. 15, members hesitated to move on the agenda item regarding an amendment to the loan agreement with Prosperity Bank.

After taking approving minutes and hearing the financial report presented by Dick Murchison, the board moved on to the agenda item regarding an amendment to the loan with Prosperity Bank. Although the board approved to the amendment to the loan, a question was raised regarding the 7th Amendment.

The amendment in question concerned the payment of the lender’s cost and lender’s counsel fees. The fee is normally $2,500 to $2,700. Since the board intends to pay the loan off at the beginning of next year, issues were raised about whether or not the bank could do away with those fees.

Brandon Bridges, president of Prosperity Bank, was unsure if anything could be done to reduce or waive the fees. Board member Dina Pipes stated that she spoke to Bridges and said that after a discussion, he did reduce the payment to $2,000 instead of $2,500.

President Barbara Crowson reminded the board of an email they had received back in September that “the final processing fee will be applied at closing. It is usually about 1% of the principal balance. And the principal balance is $500k, so one percent of that amount.” In the email, Bridges stated that “It is usually about one percent, and I usually get it reduced for the hospital district.” Crowson continued, “And he let us know that the attorney may charge a document preparation fee, which we would have to pay.” Crowson went on to state that in the email, Bridges said to plan for about a $2,500 payment in all.

When the time came to take action on the 7th Amendment, board members were reluctant to make a motion to approve. Crowson asked Murchison what it would mean if the board refused to approve the amendment. “You’re going to go into default,” said Murchison.

Eventually, a motion was made to approve the 7th amendment. Rhonda Brown abstained from voting, Pam Ainsworth, Carol Dawson, John Stovall, Debbie Kelly and Crowson voted to approve, Harvey Bruner voted no, and Dina Pipes voted no.

After the vote, Pipes stated, “Be sure and put it in the minutes that I’m not voting against paying Prosperity, I’m voting against having to pay an extra fee for sixty days when all they have to do is change a couple of dates and a couple of amounts, and that’s it. For $2,000, that’s pretty expensive.”

Before the meeting adjourned, the board agreed to change the date of its next meeting from Dec. 20 to Dec. 13.

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