Gulf Pines Saga

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An Alabama company could be stepping in with an 11th Hour bail out for Gulf Pines. Company representatives are holding negotiations with Hubert Steeley, the owner of the financially troubled facility.

Gulf County officials met with several companies in an effort to save health care in the area. One major discussion point remains indigent care. Sacred Heart Hospital hopes to go the not for profit route, but is asking for a $0.01 sales tax increase in Gulf County.

For profit companies claim they can do health care without a tax increase. The question is how. Bill Williams, Health Care Committee, said, “Without the $0.01 sales tax are we going to end up in the same boat in five years.”

However, times have changed in Gulf County and the new neighborhoods going up are attracting more people in the higher income ranges who can afford health insurance. Gulf County officials say those people should be able to balance out the indigent care needs barring another economic jolt like when the mill closed down.