CARS HOMES JOBS

Saratoga Hospital seeks tax-exempt bonds for addition

Sunday, September 8, 2013
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— Saratoga Hospital has come to Saratoga County for help in securing $26.7 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance a new surgical wing.

The hospital is seeking the backing of the Saratoga County Capital Resource Corporation, which was set up last year as a mechanism for financing community benefit projects for nonprofit organizations.

The total cost is estimated at $35.6 million, with the hospital providing $8.9 million, and asking the county corporation to finance the balance.

A public hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the county board rooms in Ballston Spa.

Hospital officials want to use the money to construct a new three-story addition housing operating rooms and support facilities, as well as a new intensive care unit. The hospital hopes to break ground on the multi-year project Nov. 1.

The new wing would be built where Cramer House, the county mental health clinic, now stands. That clinic will be moving to a new site on South Broadway.

In its application, the hospital estimates the project will lead to it adding about 50 new jobs, and will help retain the 1,200 jobs currently at the hospital.

“When the Board of Supervisors created the Capital Resource Corporation, this is exactly the kind of community-based project we had in mind,” said Capital Resource Corp. Chairwoman Supervisor Anita Daly, R-Clifton Park.

She said the number of surgeries at the hospital is up, and new technologies like robotics require larger operating rooms than in the past, leading to the demand for new surgical space.

No taxpayer money

The tax-exempt bonds issued by the corporation are the obligation of the hospital, she noted. “There is no taxpayer money involved in these transactions,” Daly said.

The tax-exempt financing will save the hospital money, said hospital Vice President and CFO Gary Foster. The savings are estimated at $3.9 million over 25 years.

Whatever the Capital Resource Corp. decides after the Oct. 1 hearing will be subject to final approval by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.

The project will include a new 13,300 square-foot ICU to be constructed above the existing emergency department, including 19 private rooms and space for respiratory therapy offices. Hospital officials hope to complete that addition within a year.

The other part of the project is a 39,000- square-foot building where the Cramer House now sits. That building will be demolished to make way for a 10-room operating suite, surgical registration and waiting areas, a pre-procedure testing area, and space for future outpatient services and expansion of the central sterile supply department. That wing wouldn’t be finished until the spring of 2016.

This is the first new construction application received by the Capital Resource Corp., and its second application. Its first application was a $25 million refinancing of existing debt for Saratoga Hospital late last year.

 
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