It is a deal! Bowman will purchase Ty Cobb’s half of Medlink building

Gibbons has stated the city and TCH had come to a mutual agreement where Bowman would pay Ty Cobb Healthcare $65,000 for the half of the building owned by the healthcare firm.

Mayor Pete Gibbons told a packed house at the February meeting of the mayor and council the city was close to sealing the deal to purchase Ty Cobb Healthcare’s (TCH) portion of the MedLink building.

City Attorney Douglas Kidd told Gibbons the contracts for the loan to purchase the building would be ready soon and ready for signatures.

Gibbons has stated the city and TCH had come to a mutual agreement where Bowman would pay Ty Cobb Healthcare $65,000 for the half of the building owned by the healthcare firm.

“This is a good deal for the city,” said Gibbons, who has been pursuing a resolution to the jointly-owned property since taking office. “The loan payments will be less than the amount MedLink is paying to lease the property ($1,000 per month) so that will give us money for upkeep and maintenance on the building. This means it will be cost neutral and not cost taxpayers anything.”

Gibbons also told attendees MedLink was eager to sign a multi-year deal to remain in Bowman and has even suggested some services could be expanded or added to the facility.

When asked by Bowman business owner Betty Yetzina if MedLink would begin referring patients to Elbert Memorial Hospital rather than St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital (formerly Ty Cobb Regional Hospital), Gibbons said that issue had not been discussed but that MedLink would no longer have ties to Ty Cobb and it was possible.

Gibbons also gave a follow-up to the grant application process to restore buildings 11 and 12 on the Bowman Square. The city is applying for grants to replace the roof and make the buildings structurally sound. The pre-application has already been approved and the full application is due April 15. That application is being written by the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission. 

Once the building has been repaired the city intends to move the Bowman Library into the facility. Gibbons said the city was also seeking funds from the state to facilitate that move and the Elbert County Library Board had recently approved the tentative plans.

Councilman Clay Rooker had reservations about the amount of money being invested in the two buildings, stating the buildings on each side were not in good shape and it didn’t make sense to put a lot of money in repairing those two.

Gibbons replied by saying it would cost the city much more should they not seek and receive the grants and that the facility would bring a better library, classrooms and meeting rooms to downtown Bowman. 

The city honored Bowman native Mecole Hardman Jr. at the meeting as well. Gibbons talked about Hardman’s many accomplishments throughout his high school career, both athletic and academic. “I am most impressed with his achievements off the field,” said Gibbons. “Mecole is setting a good example for young people coming after him.”

Councilwoman Carla Patten continued a discussion on office hours she began last month. According to Patten, city ordinances call for the office to be open 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and closed from 12-1 for lunch. Patten said she understood why many like City Hall open during lunch but that the hours were set by city ordinances and those must be followed until a change is made in the ordinance.

Mayor Pete Gibbons, who implemented the change, apologized for overlooking the ordinance and said he had received no complaints about the new hours. A show of hands revealed 90 percent of those gathered were in favor of keeping City Hall open through lunch.

Gibbons stated he felt like the hours should stay as they are now, but Patten said ordinances cannot be ignored or modified without a change to the ordinance. 

Gibbons then asked Kidd if the ordinance had to be followed and Kidd stated they did. 

Gibbons then asked Kidd to prepare a change to the ordinance allowing City Hall to remain open through lunch.

In other business, council members also:

• Approved the city of Bowman becoming a Purple Heart City, recognizing those who had served and been wounded in action. Council members voted 5-0 in favor of the proclamation.

• Heard the second reading of an updated Damage Prevention Ordinance. Council members voted 5-0 in favor of the updated ordinance.

• Heard a report from Gibbons on activities at City Hall surrounding Tree City USA and Arbor Day.

• Listened to City Clerk Debbie Walker as she read a lengthy letter expressing her concerns about what she deemed as attacks on her job and performance over the past two months. 

At the conclusion of the letter, Kidd said all discussions concerning Walker’s performance would be done in executive session. 

Following the regular session, council members went behind closed doors for that purpose. 

The closed-door session lasted approximately 45 minutes.

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