The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office confirmed American Rescue Plan money could be used to purchase the Cumberland River Hospital.
Celina Mayor Luke Collins questioned whether that could happen. Director of Communications John Dunn said public health expenditures fall under permitted uses.
“I think the concern that we would have would be making sure you have enough money going forward to operate that facility,” Dunn said. “This is one-time money, which means it only shows up one time. It doesn’t happen again, but there are ongoing costs associated with any building that you purchase.”
Dunn said any city or county that does purchase a building needs to do its due diligence beforehand. Dunn said the office has resources available for those communities to make sure the money is there.
“Make sure that they’ve met with the financial team as part of their city and county, talk to outside advisors if they have them and really do their homework to make sure the finances are there,” Dunn said. “And our office is also here as a resource.”
Dunn said he can not speculate how a deal should be structured in Celina or Clay County. Dunn said the office just wants to make sure the resources are there to operate the facility if a purchase is made.
“The decisions to use the money will be made by the local government,” Dunn said. “It’s our office’s responsible to audit the use of those funds to ensure they comply with the American Rescue Plan. If they’re found to have not complied, then they might have to repay the money.”