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Board approves Geisinger's plans for county facilities

Published June 20. 2013 05:03PM

After a brief public meeting held in the board room at the courthouse in Pottsville Wednesday morning on request of Geisinger Health System for approval of financing one or more series of bonds for projects to serve the people of Schuylkill County, the county commissioners followed up on the request at its work session which got underway immediately after the public hearing.

A resolution was adopted declaring that it is desirable for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the county for the Geisinger Authority to undertake the issuance of bonds to finance various projects involving the Geisinger Health Foundation and its affiliates, serving the people of the county, effective June 19.

Geisinger Authority, an organization of Montour County, has received a request from Geisinger Health System to proceed with up to $230 milllion in new bond financing plus potential debt refinancing. In addition to the $230 million Geisinger expects to use to fund new healthcare facilities and equipment, up to another $570 million of bonds may be used to replace existing debt if interest rates are favorable for a total bond issue of $800 million.

Proceeds from the proposed $800 million bond issue will be used to benefit patients served by Geisinger through the acquisition, renovation, and construction of buildings and equipment in eight counties, Centre, Columbia, Lackawnna, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill and Union.

It will benefit entities as follows:

Geisinger Heallth System Foundation, Danville; Geisinger System Services, Danville; Geisinger Medical Center, Danville; Marworth, Waverly; Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre; Geisinger Clinic, Danville; Geisinger Community Health Services, Danville; Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Community Medical Center, Scranton; Mountain View Nursing Home, Scranton; and Geisinger-Bloomsburg Health Care Center, Bloomsburg.

It is anticipated that the proceeds of the bonds will be used to acquire, construct, equip, renovate or install facillities in Schuylkill County in locations as follows:

Mahanoy City, 31 S. Main St.; Frackville, 701 W. Oak St.; Orwigsburg, 300 Hollywood Boulevard; and Pottsville, 529 Terry Reily Way, 100 One Norwegian Plaza and 700 E. Norwegian St.

Adopt proclamation

In other action the commissioners adopted a proclamation designating Thursday as the Eighth Annual National Dump the Pump Day.

On Thursday the Schuylkill Transportation System (STS) is offering free rides on its buses on its fixed route system throughout the county. The offer is so residents leave their car home which aides in the protection of the environment, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and improve the quality of life for the citizens.

Approval was granted Mike Micko, director of STS, to file with the state consolidated capital applcations for transit related improvement projects. A grant of $414,000 is sought for six 14 passenger access small transit buses and $1,926,300 for renovation and expansion of its facilities in the Saint Clair Industrial Park.

The commissioners reappointed Gary Bender, county grant writer, and Mark Scarbinsky, county administrator, to the Schuylkill County Affordable Housing Trust Fund for a two year term ending July 1, 2015.

On behalf of the Office of Senior Service Agency the commissioners extended the term of the current professional contract with Wessel Consulting of Johnstown to provide training and support for the use of accounting software ackeage. The total contract cost is $38,766.

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