SCOTT COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)- Scott County Commissioners approved a contract with S.M. Promen to reopen the area's only hospital next year.
Commissioners voted to move forward with the company at a meeting Monday night. It was agreed that the building will be used as a hospital for the next six years.
Mayor Jeff Tibbals told Local 8 News he hopes the hospital will reopen mid-december or in early January, but that's not likely. The next step is an accreditation for Medicare and Medicaid.
Since the hospital shut down in May, some former employees were able to land new jobs but have to commute each day. Steve Leeds, former pharmacy director at the hospital, said he's hopeful the hospital will reopen early next year.
"It would be a blessing from God," said Leeds who landed two part-time jobs. One in Knoxville, another in Jamestown.
"Right now it's an hour drive to Knoxville and an hour drive to Jamestown," he said. "It puts a burden on myself and more on my family because they don't get to see me.
His father founded the hospital in 1955.
"I sort of feel like I"m carrying on the medical tradition that my father helped establish in this community, and I want this tradition to continue because I want to help the people in Scott County, and golly we desperately need that right now," Leeds said.