County approves hospital financing plan

·2 min read

Jun. 23—Borrowing by Meadville Medical Center for a major capital improvement program and equipment upgrades at its facilities has been approved by the county.

Members of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously OK'd the medical center's plans to borrow up to $8 million.

However, neither the county nor the Crawford County Hospital Authority would be liable in the event of a loan default, John Swick, the authority's attorney, told commissioners prior to the vote.

Approval is required from both the authority and the commissioners for the hospital to receive tax-exempt status for its planned borrowing. The authority OK'd the borrowing at a meeting June 21.

The hospital plans to borrow the money from Laurel Capital Corp. with an interest rate of approximately 4 percent, Swick said. The loan amount and interest rate will be finalized prior to the loan's formal closing which is anticipated by the end of July.

The total capital program could be up to about $16 million with only half of the amount borrowed, according to Swick. The hospital has the means to finance about half of the total program internally, he added.

The bulk of the money — $5.7 million — would be spent at Meadville Medical Center's main facility on Liberty Street with about $1.5 million spent at Titusville Area Hospital's main facility on West Oak Street.

The remaining approximately $1.8 million will be use at its Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute and Vernon Place, both in Vernon Township, as well as its Meadville Community Health Center and Meadville Dermatology and Skin Surgery Institute in Meadville.

This is the second borrowing by Meadville Medical Center this year.

In February, both the commissioners and county hospital authority approved for the hospital to borrow up to $14.25 million to refinance two separate loans totaling $15 million — an $8 million borrowing in 2018 and a $7 million borrowing in 2019. The hospital was able to refinance both loans at a lower interest rate for 15 years.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at .