DCH completes $ 16.9 million federal loan | News, Sports, Jobs

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IRON MOUNTAIN – The Dickinson County Health System received a long-awaited $ 16.9 million rural development loan on Tuesday, seven months after the US Department of Agriculture pledged funding.

Aid was requested to enable DCH to refinance its debt and acquire new equipment. Much of this has been accomplished over the past several months in anticipation of the loan closing.

“We are closed,” DCH board chairwoman Margaret Minerick confirmed Tuesday afternoon. “We are all ready to go. “

At the time of its first USDA application in August 2019, the hospital reported $ 14 million in outstanding bank loans, including a pending lump sum payment of almost $ 10 million. But a $ 26 million loan application was stalled as federal officials said they wanted proof of financial stability until 2020.

As an alternative to the federal loan, DCHS was ready in early 2020 to sell $ 32 million in tax bonds. That plan, however, was put on hold when the coronavirus outbreak disrupted financial markets.

In August 2020, the county council was told that the hospital would be applying for a USDA loan again, but this time for $ 16.9 million. The lower amount was made possible by COVID-19 help received under the federal CARES law, along with better financial performance, hospital officials said.

The 27-acre plot on US 2 which includes Dickinson County Memorial Hospital and related clinics was purchased by DCH in 1994 for $ 700,000. In exchange for the county’s approval of the hospital’s request to seek tax obligations for the construction, the county demanded that the property be transferred. Since then, she has rented the US 2 site to DCH for a small fee.

As part of the federal loan application, the county council agreed last year to allow registration of the deed in DCH’s name.

Jim Anderson can be reached at 906-774-3500 ext. 226 or [email protected]

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