Hospital bond to go to vote

The fate of a new hospital in Chase County will be decided by voters in a special election this May.
    On Tuesday, county commissioners approved on a 3-0 vote a resolution sending the question of a $20.5 million bond issue to voters.
    During a special meeting March 4, the hospital board voted to move forward with the project and asked the commissioners to put the bond election to a vote of the people.
    The 25-year bond issue will be used to pay for the construction a new hospital facility at a guaranteed maximum cost of $20.5 million. That cost was delivered March 4 by the design-build firms hired by the hospital board for the project.
    The hospital will finance another $5.4 million outside of the bond issue for the “soft costs” of a new facility. These include medical equipment, insurance, permitting, furniture, etc., and design fees.
    During discussion, Commissioner Dennis Kunnemann asked about the difference in levy for a 20-year bond versus a 25-year bond.
    Bond Agent Andy Forney with D.A. Davidson & Co. of Omaha said the levy projected for a 25-year bond would be 8.5 cents per $100 of valuation. The fixed interest rate on a 25-year bond is projected at 3.5 percent.

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