For the second month in a row, discussion of the reserve account ensued at the Glen Rose Medical Center Hospital Authority board meeting.
During an agenda item regarding bank accounts, County Judge Walter Maynard inquired about the reserve account's standing.
Chief Financial Officer Ray Reynolds said the reserve is a separate account but it is not restricted. Maynard said the initial agreement, signed several years ago with the GRMC Foundation Board, stated the account would be maintained separately to protect the county because it lended financial support for hospital improvements and not used as a back up.
"If (the hospital) needs it they use it and it's not there for the county's protection," Maynard said. "We understood that account would not be touched. It's become the clearing account - that wasn't the understanding of the agreement originally."
Maynard said the hospital foundation, which existed until December, provided monthly financial statements showing the account was present.
"If we look at every month's financials we thought it existed," Maynard said. "Until the cash flow started going negative it was never an issue. But when it started going negative the money had to come from somewhere."
Reynolds, however, said the account maintained its required cash flow until the transfer from a foundation to a hospital authority. The account had more than $500,000 in December and now has $165,000, Reynolds said.
"It has only been used for transitional fees," Reynolds said.
Reynolds also said the account is considered to be in compliance by the hospital's auditor.
Maynard said it was technically a disagreement, but could eventually cause a major rift between the county and the hospital authority.
"I know we go by a legal contract but we also go on people's word. If it is not fixed, it will make the relationship fragile," Maynard said. "I was hoping the money would be there to help jump start the authority."
Board Chairman Larry Shaw said the board as a whole was interested in mending the bridge between the entities.
"I am getting a sense that some of us on the board want the accounts maintained separately," Shaw said. "I would like us to fix this fragile (issue) and move forward and not revert back to the past."
An agreement for the maintenance of the account will be addressed by the board and the county in the coming weeks.