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CCHS votes to retain Day Trust Land


December 10, 2020

DAYTON–Columbia County Hospital District commissioners voted unanimously to retain the 1,500-acre Day Trust property given by Dr. Day in 1965 to the Hospital and School Districts. Day’s intent was for the hospital and Dayton School District to “retain the land and to seek legal and all courses of action to do so.”

Indicated in discussion, the Board took the position because of the benefit they think the land gives to the school. Board member Bob Hutchens abstained.

The Dayton School Board recently discussed the Day Trust Property at their November Board meetings because of their half share in it. According to District Superintendent, Guy Strot, “Back in 2006 the IRS changed some rulings which forced the Trust to disperse 5% of its equity each year at a minimum and then as the property has gone up, they’ve had to make up the difference between how much the farm produces and the 5%. So I think last year, they contributed over $100,000 of the ‘cash in the bank.’ It’s scheduled that in 2035 they’re going to have no cash left and all the value of the trust would be in the land.”

According to Strot, some options were given from Bank of America including to make assets liquid and invest in securities which would take the 5% hit each year. School Board member Fred White said when speaking with Bob Hutchens from the CCHS Board, that Hutchens and their Board would like to “consider keeping the land and possibly looking at finding a different trust manager to manage the land portion and have Bank of America keep the assets.” White said that Hutchens said he would look into options and Bank of America was open to suggestions of what to do with the trust and that a future vote would be needed by the School Board.

School District Business Manager, Paula Moisio stated, “The Trust is not under any obligation to consider any other option” from the two Boards. School Board Chair, Katie Leid contributed to say that the Hospital Board “came to us early in this process so that if we can put our collective heads together, we can figure out a better way to bring in income to the hospital and to the school.” Strot said that the opinion of Bank of America was that if they took the money from the land and the farm and put in securities, the School District and the Hospital would probably earn more money with the average rate of return. It may come down to the legacy of having a farm versus more money for the School and Hospital.”

Columbia County Health System CEO Shane McGuire reported at the November Board Meeting on December 2 that the recent local cases of COVID-19 have been successfully treated with therapeutics with a fast turnaround within 24 hours. A few cases were too sick to be hospitalized here and were flown out to other regional hospitals. McGuire said that some regional hospitals are not so much at risk for reaching bed capacity, but rather staff capacity.

CCHS has had success in receiving payment for outstanding swing bed claims totaling $500,000 by Molina from as far back as 2015. McGuire and the Board specifically acknowledged the efforts of Cheryl Skiffington, Revenue Cycle Coordinator, and Wendy Wilkins-Russell, Owner of Wilkins-Russell Consulting with McGuire saying “it would read like a War and Peace Novel.”


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