Hearing planned Monday for Southwest Memorial bonds

Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 4:57 PM
An expansion at Southwest Memorial Hospital will include a remodeled main entrance.

A public hearing will be held Monday on the issuance of up to $40 million in revenue bonds to help finance the expansion and remodel project at Southwest Memorial Hospital.

The hearing is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Montezuma County commission meeting room. A public comment session on the proposed bonds and project will be part of the hearing.

The bonds would be issued through the county for Southwest Health Systems, the private, nonprofit corporation that operates the public hospital.

As the bond borrower, Southwest Health Systems is solely responsible for repaying bonds. The county will have no responsibility for the debt service on the bonds, or any other matter related to the bonds.

All hospital improvements financed by the issuance of the bonds will by owned by the Montezuma County Hospital District. The hospital district is a special tax district that owns the hospital facilities and leases management operations to Southwest Health. Of the bonds, $30 million will be used for the hospital expansion project, and $10 million will be used to pay off outstanding financial obligations from the last hospital expansion project.

The upgrade includes a new 20-bed inpatient wing to replace the one on the hospital’s second floor, and a new 25,000-square-foot medical office building on the front of the hospital.

The new patient wing includes improved security, family waiting area, updated records keeping, a new family birthing center and an expanded medical imaging department featuring a women’s health center.

The new medical office center will house up to 30 medical providers and specialists including family medicine, orthopedics, podiatry, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and general surgery. This building will include a retail pharmacy, X-ray capabilities, vaccination clinic and Coumadin clinic attached to the main hospital campus for easy access to additional services.

Consolidating hospital services from throughout Cortez under one roof is expected to save the hospital $300,000 per year in expenses.

The Mancos health clinic and walk-in clinic on North Dolores road will remain in their current locations.

The upgrade also includes a five-bay emergency medical services station, training center and ambulance facility.

Project funding is through a sales tax passed last year, the sale of revenue bonds, hospital district taxes, grants and private donations.

Ballot initiative 5A passed, which passed on Nov. 3, allowed the hospital district to collect 4 cents on every $10 of non-exempt purchases in Montezuma County, beginning in 2016 for a total of 15 years. Revenues from the sales tax will pay the debt service of the revenue bonds.

Davis Partnership Architects of Denver led project design, and Nunn Construction will serve as the construction manager and general contractor.