Walker County Creates Plan to Pay Down Erlanger Debt

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield called for the formation of a special district to generate funds to pay down the county’s debt owed to Erlanger Health System. Whitfield created and established the Walker County Public Health Facilities and Services District during his regular meeting tonight.

A judge recently ordered Walker County to pay Erlanger $8.7 million plus interest and attorney’s fees to cover its portion of a 2011 loan to keep Hutcheson Medical Center open.

Whitfield says “This special district will generate at least $2.5 million a year to pay down our debt to Erlanger. I’ve asked their management team to remember it’s the people of Walker County who are ultimately paying the price for the mistakes of the past. As we continue to work with Erlanger on a payment plan, my hope is they will show some compassion to our citizens, who are also their patients.”

The special district allows for a special assessment to be charged on each parcel of property, beginning October 1, 2017. The annual fee will be 0.14% of the fair market value, up to a maximum of $1,000. The special assessment on a home with a market value of $75,000 would be $105. Property valued at $200,000 will be charged a $280 fee.

The Walker County Public Health Facilities and Services District will terminate in three years.

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