POMEROY — After more than 10 years without an emergency room, it looks as through Meigs County may soon have one again.
During Thursday’s Meigs County Commissioner’s meeting, a resolution was approved stating the “intention to issue industrial development revenue bonds and authorizing execution of agreements with Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC).”
The resolution, approved by a unanimous vote, allows the county to undertake bonds in an amount not to exceed $5.5 million for the project. The bonds would be paid by the Meigs County CIC who would own the property.
The bonds will finance a portion of the costs of the acquisition, construction and equipping of the facility. The funding negotiations being completed by the county will allow for a lower interest rate.
The resolution describes the facility as a 13,000-square-foot building for a free standing emergency department on a seven-acre parcel of land in Salisbury Township on Pomeroy Pike near the intersection of U.S. 33 and Ohio 7.
The property is located near the new Family Healthcare Facility and the future Meigs County Emergency Operations Center.
The facility will be owned by the CIC and leased by Holzer Health System, who will operate the 24-hour emergency facility.
“Holzer Health System is very pleased to be able to participate in establishing an Emergency Care facility in Meigs County,” said Karrie Swain Davidson, communications coordinator for Holzer Health System. “As a health system, we continually strive to enhance the services we are able to offer for the communities we serve.”
Fred Williams, who serves and bond counsel from the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson PLLC, spoke with the commissioners as did Meigs County Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe.
Williams said the county and its taxpayers would not be responsible to pay back any of the money from the bonds; the CIC would be responsible for the full amount.
Varnadoe estimated that the project could begin construction this summer, and the facility could begin serving patients as early as next spring.
This resolution is the first step in a process necessary for the county to secure the bonds for the project. It is not a binding resolution.
Prior to the passage of a final resolution on the matter, a public meeting must be held. A date for that meeting will be announced at a later date.
Williams said there are two ways which bonds are sold, a public offering or a private sale to a bank who would provide funding.
In this case, the bond will be done by private sale through Ohio Valley Bank. Ohio Valley Bank was represented at the meeting by Bryan Stepp, senior vice president of Commercial Lending.
Meigs County has been without an emergency health care facility since Veteran’s Memorial Hospital closed in 2002.