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Saratoga County supervisors to vote on bonds for hospital wing

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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— Saratoga County supervisors will vote Tuesday on authorizing up to $35.6 million in tax-exempt financing for construction of a new surgical wing at Saratoga Hospital.

The action was approved Wednesday by the county board’s Law and Finance Committee, even though the hospital is seeking more financing than it originally requested.

The hospital initially came to the county’s Capital Resource Corp. for $26.7 million in financing, but it is now asking for the higher amount in case costs rise, said CRC Chairwoman Anita M. Daly, R-Clifton Park.

“It could be anywhere from $25 million to $35 million. They don’t have all their costs in yet,” Daly said at the committee meeting in Ballston Spa. “The numbers they used originally are just estimates.”

The hospital is also expected to put several million dollars of its own money into the major expansion on the west side of the hospital.

The Capital Resource Corp. approved the financing earlier this month, but its projects also require approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Because the hospital bonds will be tax-exempt, it will receive a lower interest rate on the borrowing. Hospital officials estimate they will save $3.9 million over 25 years.

The money would be used to construct a three-story addition housing operating rooms and support facilities as well as a new intensive care unit.

Hospital officials estimate the project will lead to about 50 new jobs and will help retain the 1,200 jobs currently at the hospital.

“They’re moving forward with some really innovative ideas,” said Daly, noting that the new operating rooms will be tailored for robotic surgeries, which the current operating rooms aren’t.

It will be a multiyear project, but hospital officials hope to begin preparatory work around Nov. 1.

The new wing would be built just west of the main hospital building, where Cramer House, the county mental health clinic, now stands. The clinic is now in the process of moving to a new site on South Broadway.

The project includes a 39,000-square-foot building with 10 operating rooms and associated services and a new 13,300-square-foot intensive care unit to be constructed above the existing emergency department.

Hospital officials have said they hope to complete the new ICU within a year, but the new operating room wing won’t be done until 2016.

The Capital Resource Corp. was set up last year as a mechanism for providing low-cost financing to community benefit projects being done by private nonprofit organizations. The hospital expansion is its first new construction project, though it earlier helped the hospital with a refinancing of existing debt.

 
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