Catoosa And Walker Offer Hutcheson Hospital $2.5 Million Line Of Credit

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - by Mike O'Neal

The only business addressed during a called meeting of the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday concerned extending a short-term line of credit to Hutcheson Medical Center.

County Attorney Chad Young described the willingness of Walker and Catoosa counties to guarantee the hospital’s borrowing of up to $2.

5 million as “another step” in moving forward with restructuring HMC’s indebtedness.

“This is not a check, it is a line of credit,” Mr. Young said. “Any draw from these funds would be subject to approval by both counties.”

Erlanger Health System had recently extended a loan of $550,000 for Hutcheson’s immediate needs and the county’s action will permit the hospital to make necessary capital improvements while a longer term refinancing scheme is worked out.

The hospital is in the process of developing an arrangement that would allow leasing the hospital’s buildings to another medical entity — a local, regional or national hospital or corporation.

Lease payments would cover all servicing all of HMC’s debts and would mean taxpayers would not be called upon to pay off the hospital’s debts.

Since December, the hospital and the hospital authority have been trying to restructure debts accumulated by a previous administration.

Presently, the hospital’s long-term strategy is to secure $35 million in short term funding through bond anticipation notes and a total of about $50 million over a 30-year period.

A short-term bond anticipation note is expected to close before the end of June, officials said.

“This will be a short-term bridge to cover the gap for about six weeks,” Catoosa Commission Chairman Keith Greene said.

moneal2480@comcast.net


Government Officials Respond To Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech To Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday.  Senator Lamar Alexander said, after attending,  “Israel is one of our greatest allies, and our relationship is especially critical during these dangerous times in the Middle East. It’s important for Congress and the American people to hear from such strong ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Department To Assist Norfolk Southern Police With Trespasser Abatement

The Dalton Police Department will be assisting the Norfolk Southern Police Department with a trespasser abatement initiative on Wednesday and Thursday.  The effort in Dalton is one of six such initiatives that the NSPD is planning in different areas of the country. The program is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property and reduce instances ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Insult To Israel

I am deeply saddened that over two dozen members of Congress – all Democrats – will be boycotting a speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, when he speaks in Washington tonight. I am also offended that the President of the United States will not receive Netanyahu prior to the speech – a customary gesture on such occasions – because he claims it is too close to ... (click for more)

Tre Tiller's 22 Leads Central To Region 3-AA Basketball Championship

There just must be something about playing basketball at Chattanooga State that makes the Central Purple Pounders click. Especially when the opponent is the Brainerd Panthers. Facing Brainerd for the fifth time this season and second at Chattanooga State on Monday night, the Purple Pounders defeated the Panthers for the third time. The latest conquest may have ... (click for more)

Flames Golfers Finish Seventh In Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – The Lee University men’s golf team placed seventh in a field of 16 teams at the Las Vegas Desert Classic. After posting a round of 302 on Sunday the Flames finished with a 301 on Monday and will return to Cleveland with a 603 total in the 36-hole event staged at the Palute Golf Club-Snow Mountain. The University of the Redlands (Calif.), placed by ... (click for more)