Montrose hospital lease ruling upheld

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On Thursday the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the first court's decision to lease Montrose Memorial Hospital to the former Board of Directors.

"What was a public hospital is now a privately owned corporation," said Montrose County Commissioner David White.

The current Board of Directors is comprised of the previously elected Board of Trustees.

"They have control of the hospital for the next 50 years," said White.

White says the Commissioners did their best to defend a public asset but the courts saw things differently.

"There's been a break in the linkage of government, from the County Commissioners having control over who controls the hospital, to a self actualizing board of directors," says Montrose County Commissioner Ron Henderson.

The some Commissioners say they are worried that the $24 million dollar debt assumed by the new owners will fall onto the plates of the county and its citizens.

"So they have an obligation under the lease to pay the debt, but if they default, then it comes back to the county in the form of tax dollars," said White.

Commissioners say they are disappointed by the court's ruling but respect it, and hope to work with the new Board of Trustees.

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