published Friday, August 30th, 2013

Heiskell proposed credit line instead of bonds for Hutcheson

Hutcheson Medical Center
Hutcheson Medical Center
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Instead of immediately selling bonds to refinance Hutcheson Medical Center’s roughly $60 million in debt, the Fort Oglethorpe hospital may get a temporary lifeline of $3.4 million in credit to keep operations going until Oct. 25, when bids are due for a new partner to take over.

That’s what Walker County Sole Commissioner Bebe Heiskell proposed at a 4:30 p.m. Friday news conference.

“Right now, I don’t think we should make a large, long-range commitment until we find out who is going to back this,” Heiskell said.

Her announcement was a response to a Wednesday request by a group of Hutcheson physicians — which was endorsed by hospital board members — for Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties to immediately issue some $60 million worth of bonds to refinance the hospital’s debt at a lower interest rate.

Read more in Saturday’s Times Free Press.

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