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Hoisington Public Building Commission introduces hospital bond issue
Bonds to be issued to pay up to $15 million for hospital updates
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Clara Barton Hospital CEO Jim Blackwell addressed the Hoisington Public Building Commission Monday night. He explained the proposed $16.5 million hospital improvement project. Following his presentation, the PBC passed a resolution to issue bonds in the amount not to exceed $15 million for the project.

HOISINGTON — The Hoisington Public Building Commission met Monday night prior to the city council meeting. City Council members are also members of the PBC.  An agenda included three items of new business.  

First, it has been years since the PBC has met. According to City Manager Jonathan Mitchell, the last minutes included Clayton Williams as the president of the commission.  So, members nominated and approved the appointment of Dalton Popp as president, Jim Morris as treasurer and Cecilia Conrad as secretary. While serving as PBC, Popp has a vote, however Conrad does not.  The rest of the PBC is made up of the entirety of the Hoisington City Council. 

This settled, the next item of discussion was a resolution requesting Hoisington PBC issue revenue bonds for up to $15 million for the purpose of paying the costs to acquire, construct, furnish and equip hospital facility improvements in the city of Hoisington to be used by Clara Barton Hospital. 

 Clara Barton CEO Jim Blackwell was present to explain the project, estimated to cost $16.5 million. The primary focus is on outpatient care, with an emphasis increasing access, efficiency and square footage for patients. 

“Space alone has become an issue,” he said. The project is necessary in order to accommodate the many additional physicians and practices the hospital has added in recent months. “We’re adding new space for our surgical patient care.” 

Clerical spaces located on that side of the building will be moved across the street where surgical practices currently exist and a new surgical clinic will be added to the north side of the Hoisington hospital.  The emergency room will be moved, but the helipad will remain on the northeast corner of the hospital campus. 

Parking continues to be a significant issue, and will see some improvements as a result of the reconfiguration.  

Other services, including imaging and nuclear medicine will be moved so they are more centrally located in the building, and the lab will be remodeled for more efficient use of space.  

The project also includes renovations to property purchased in Great Bend. Clara Barton Medical Clinic is currently located at the Jackson Square facility at 1031 Jackson St.  The clinic has outgrown the available space there and is landlocked so expansion is not possible, Blackwell said.  The hospital is eyeing the former Montana Mike’s restaurant building in Great Bend, with a plan to move those practices and services there.  

At the conclusion of his presentation, Popp thanked Blackwell for coming, and the commissioners considered the “Resolution to issue revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $15 million  for the purpose of paying the costs to acquire, construct, furnish and equip hospital facility improvements in the City of Hoisington, Kansas, to be used by Clara Barton Hospital Association, Inc.”

City Manager Jonathan Mitchell explained a revenue bond Essentially, it is a type of municipal bond that is supported by the money a particular project is expected to generate.  It does not add to the indebtedness of the city, and taxpayers are not responsible for paying it back.  However, if the hospital were to default, at that point taxpayers would be responsible for paying the bond.  

“We’ve done revenue bonds before for projects like Rotomix and the hotel,” he said. The last time the Hoisington PBC issued one was in 2001, and refinanced it in 2014, Mitchell added. “We don’t do revenue bonds very often, but it’s a great mechanism to fund a project such as this.”  

With a motion on the floor, a roll call vote was taken, and the resolution passed unanimously.  

It was followed with a resolution to issue the bonds, which also passed unanimously.  The Hoisington PBC then adjourned.