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Paying for hospital will require mix of funds

In all likelihood, financing a new hospital in the $40 million range will require a mix of funds, such as riverboat taxes and hospital and community foundation grants.
‘I still feel we will be able to put together a package that will enable us to do the project,’ said Council chair Gary Davis, in response to a presentation last month concerning funding options by CPA Mike Claytor of Crowe-Chizek & Co. LLC of Indianapolis.
Claytor, addressing the council, said that while most counties are no longer in the hospital business, most counties don’t have income from riverboats like Caesars’ Glory of Rome at Bridgeport.
‘Thirty-one years ago, health care centered around local, county-owned hospitals,’ Claytor said.
‘A lot of things have happened since that time,’ Claytor said, to cause local governments to limit services to such things as police and fire protection. Hospitals are now ‘unbelievably competitive.’
Typically, locally-owned hospitals have been financed with revenue bonds backed by property tax dollars, but that’s not something the Harrison County Council intends to do, he said.
‘There is no support for property-tax-backed bonds,’ Davis said. Instead, several options may be combined. ‘We are not going to be able to fund the project in one fell swoop.’
Claytor provided Davis the names of several qualified firms that might be willing to handle the financing package for the project.
Davis said yesterday he intends to meet with Harrison County Hospital director Steve Taylor this week to discuss the project and financing options before going further.
(Davis’ time has been limited this past week because his 90-year-old father, Victor Lee Davis of New Salisbury, died Friday. His obituary is on page A8.)