Floyd County Commissioners could not come to an agreement regarding the backing of bonds for Floyd Medical Center. The hospital had asked the county to issue a letter of support backing, essentially backing $105 million in bonds.
The letter of support would allow for Floyd Medical to attain loans with lower interest rates, saving the hospital millions of the dollars. Commissioner Scotty Hancock said that the hospital would be able to get the loans without the county’s backing. He added that ‘they have enough tax on hand to be able to get their own bond rating. I would like to see the hospital’s actual bond rating especially before the county goes on the hook for 20 years.’
Hancock went on to say, “there is not telling who our next president of the United States will be and how the medical world will change. It’s unfair for the tax payers to be on the hook for this long and this amount for a one time payment. Just look at the Hutcheson Hospital in northwest Georgia. Tax payers are on the hook for millions of dollars.”
Commissioner Rhonda Wallace argued that the lower interest rate would be good for both the hospital and the county.
It is estimated that the hospital would save close to $5 million; in return the county would get an estimated $800,000 to $1 million for being the bond insurer.
The commission deferred the vote until February 23.
If Floyd Medical Center were to default on the loan the county would be on the hook and in return would have to raise taxes to pay for the loan. Commissioner Larry Maxey said, “I am kind of concerned about the county being on the hook. I would like more information before I make my final decision.”
Commissioner Garry Fricks said that he is for the bond assurance and would like to see the money the county gets go toward lowering recreation registration fees.
Both Fricks and Wallace are on Floyd Medical Center’s hospital board.
It appears that the vote will come down to Irwin Bagwell who was absent at Tuesday’s meeting. Bagwell is also in an election year.