Bethany Council Approves Designation To Aid HCCH Expansion In Debt Service Cost Reduction

Bethany’s Board of Aldermen approved a recommendation from the city’s Industrial Development Authority which would allow the Harrison County Community Hospital to use the IDA’s bank qualification capacity during a meeting Monday night. It is being proposed by the hospital so they could reduce their debt service costs by 1 percent. That would amount to $100,000 per year. Hospital representatives previously met with the city’s IDA board to request the IDA’s tax exempt and bank qualification status for the 2023 calendar year for $10 million of the $15 million the hospital plans to finance for unfunded project costs. Those are the costs not covered by the $45 million dollars being financed through the USDA of the $60 million dollar project to build a new hospital on a campus located along 39th Street.

The designation has been used previously by the city in 2002 for the Gumdrop Books building. Other IDAs from other cities have also provided the designations. The IDA and the council received assurances that they would not be subject to legal fees nor credit risks. The city approved the motion understanding that the city would have no liability regarding the repayment of the loans. The IDA also stated they asked if local banks could be part of the bond sales when the deal is financed. The IDA received an answer that some of the bond sales could go through local banks, but the size of the financing would exceed limits for the local banks to cover in its entirety. The bank qualification designation is only needed for the 2023 fiscal year since the hospital’s financing is anticipated to be accomplished within this calendar year. The IDA will receive $10,000 for providing the designation. Now that the city’s has approved the measure, the HCCH Hospital’s board will meet regarding their approval next Monday.

At the meeting, the city agreed to complete the construction of the Overhead Power relocation and light poles for the new hospital campus by themselves. Once the 39th Street relocation plans and the hospital construction plans are completed, the plans will go out for bid.