By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted during their Wednesday, Nov. 18, Committee of the Whole meeting to begin the bonding process utilizing the Dickinson Wright law firm on financing the county’s new Medical Care Facility through Chemical Bank, and to pledge full faith and credit of the county for the loan that is not to exceed $14 million. The motion received the full support of the board, which was expected to give final approval on Thursday. Interest paid on the loan will be tax-free.
Medical Care Facility (MCF) Director Rick Cordonnier reported that the project is currently expected to cost $23 million, but that the MCF has “been good stewards of their money” and “has significant reserves for the down payment.” He also noted that $100,000 in interest will be saved by the county pledging full faith and credit.
“We looked at the option of remodeling the current facility and a lease-to-own option as well, but those costs were similar to what it would take to build a new facility,” Cordonnier explained on Wednesday. “We have put money away and will be able to put approximately $9 million down up front. We hope to be able to help residents of our community for decades to come. The new facility will give people more confidence to bring their loved ones to stay with us and will make us more viable for the future.”
Cordonnier also reported that the new 103,000-square-foot facility will contain 136 beds and will be duly certified to accept Medicare and Medicaid insurances. It will be in The Meadows, north of the Owosso-area Home Depot.
Bond counsel Paul Wyzgoski of Dickinson Wright spoke later in the meeting about the bonding process, explaining that the county alone, as the owners of the MCF, has the authority to ask for the loan. This vote, and the subsequent publication of the county’s intent to issue the bonds, begins a 45-day referendum period that will precede the MCF’s submission of its final plan. The board would then finalize the county’s approval, potentially as early as January.