Hospital sale in Oxford clears hurdle

OXFORD – After two years of negotiation, Oxford officials reached a “major milestone” on their way to an agreement to sell the hospital it owns jointly with Lafayette County and to have a superior facility built to replace it.

Aldermen voted 4-1 to approve a memorandum of understanding that establishes a host of conditions for the sale of the hospital to Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation. Under its terms, the city and county would split a $60 million purchase price, and Baptist would build a new $250 million regional referral center.

City and county officials recently tried to revisit the purchase price, but the company that provided the original valuation declined to do a second one. There was little sentiment among aldermen to push the issue further.