Share This Page

The Monsour deal

| Sunday, May 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Following yet another fire at the dilapidated hospital property they abandoned seven years ago, the family Monsour, through Westmoreland Priority LLC — made up of Monsours and which holds $35 million in debt on the property — has agreed to turn over everything to Jeannette to expedite demolition.

How nice. Of course, this latest turn of the screw comes at the taxpayers' expense, assuming the legal mess entangling the property can be cleaned up.

Even with the bond transfer from Westmoreland Priority, if it goes through, public money will be needed to demolish the Monsour Medical Center, says Jeannette's attorney, Scott Avolio. Then there are property liens imposed by the IRS and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. that have to be cleared.

Why aren't the property's rightful owners getting their feet held to this latest fire? For one reason, because the hospital's deteriorating tower would probably come crumbling down on Route 30 in the time it would take to sort out this mess.

Questions about the property's disposition should have been resolved within months, not years, after the hospital's closure. Given the medical center's abysmal financial history, that's abundantly clear.

Instead, the hospital closed without issue or investigation. Those responsible walked away. And a city without the means to drain this swamp is left to own it.

That's the legacy that bears the Monsour name — and which the family now is content to seal.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.