The upcoming hospital renovation and expansion is an important project for our community and surrounding area. Strong health care providers are one of the key ingredients of a successful and vibrant community.
The hospital is finalizing their financing for the project and as part of their financing package they are requesting general obligation bonds (GO bonds) through Hand County. A county election is required to issue the GO bonds. There have been a couple of public meetings to explain this process and to answer questions. If you missed the meetings, don’t worry, there are more to come. Here are the meeting dates and places:
- Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 pm, Miller Fire Hall
- Monday, November 23, 7:30 pm, St. Lawrence Community Room
The county election is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8. A “Yes” vote will allow the county to issue the GO bonds. The hospital will pay for these bonds and all associated costs through their lease payments to the county.
Following is some summary information about the hospital expansion and renovation.
- Since 1947, Hand County owns the entire health care campus.
- In 1985, the decision was made to lease the campus to Hand County Memorial Hospital Inc. (HCMH).
- Present, Hand County leases the entire campus to HCMH who subleases space to Vision Care, and AMK, while operating the community based services.
- The project will remodel approximately 13,600 square feet of existing space and add 15,400 square feet of new space, while eliminating 12,000 square feet of non-health care usable space.
- Total project cost is $5.6M.
- They are seeking USDA loans/bonds in the amount of $3.55M. Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital & Clinic (AHC) will pay all bond related costs.
- The hospital foundation has pledges over 5 years now exceeding $1M.
- $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants are available if the program is fully funded in 2010.
- They are also applying for a Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund loan @ 0% interest for ten years.
- Balance will be through HCMH Inc reserves.
- Because the hospital campus is owned by the county, the USDA Rural Development has directed them to seek General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds) through the County to finance the project.
- All bond costs would be paid by the hospital, including the principle, interest, election costs, bond fees and closing costs. There will be no tax increase as a result of the County GO Bond.
- The GO Bond process requires a simple majority election of the residents of Hand County, to vote on any bond issuance of the County.
If you have any questions regarding the project, you can call Bryan Breitling, the hospital administrator, at 853-0399.