Officials continue work on KDMC plans

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lincoln County supervisors Monday continued efforts towardsecuring a $9 million loan for hospital improvements and approvedaction on a new government complex roof.

Danny Ivy, area director for the USDA Rural Development, andAdrian Wood, loan officer, sought a written commitment fromsupervisors that the county would accept and back King’s DaughtersMedical Center’s application should the loan be approved. Officialshave received good indications about the loan application’ssuccess.

“It’s a matter of getting all the legal issues squared away,”Ivy said about Monday’s discussion.

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The loan would actually come to the county since the hospitalleases the building.

Supervisors delayed action until next week to allow attorney BobAllen to review the condition agreements. Supervisors haveexpressed concerns that county taxpayers not be on the line in theevent of problems with loan repayment.

“There’s got to be some protection for the county in the eventof a default,” Allen said.

Phillip Grady, KDMC chief executive officer, said thoseassurances could be done “in short order.”

Grady said the hospital is pledging its revenue to back up theloan. He said loan-related issues could be covered in a new leaseagreement between the county and the hospital.

Wood expressed confidence in the hospital’s ability to meet itsobligations.

“The hospital has a good operating history,” Wood said. “They’remaking money and are able to pay the debt.”

The hospital project will involve the creation of a newemergency department, intensive care unit and a 10-bed patient unitas well as the renovation of existing patient rooms. The projectwill also add a sprinkler system for fire suppression to the secondand third floors, a new pharmacy and a helipad.

In addition to the USDA loan, hospital revenue will be used forthe estimated $11 million project. A certificate of need from thestate Health Department is also needed before the project canbegin. It is expected to be received later this year.

In other business Monday, supervisors approved a $407,000contract for a new roof on the government complex and vestibules.The project, which will use a federal allocation, will be for mostof the complex except for the new jail.

“It’ll put a completely new roof on the old part of thecourthouse,” said Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop. “We’ve had a lotof leaks for some time and this will solve that problem.”

Also Monday, supervisors appointed Brookhaven resident EmilyHenderson to the Lincoln County Public Library board of trustees.She will replace long-time member Carolyn Patterson, who resignedat the last county board meeting.