Hearing Nov. 13 for Good Sam bond issue

10/31/12 — Greensboro, Ga. – As the next major step in the creation of the new replacement St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, the Greene County Development Authority will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, to take public input on issuing up to $45 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance construction of the hospital.

The bonds will be repaid solely by St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital and its parent organizations, St. Mary’s Health Care System and Catholic Health East, according to Dick Schmidt, of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, attorney for the Greene County Development Authority.

“All responsibility for payment of the bonds will be borne by St. Mary’s, CHE and Good Samaritan Hospital,” Schmidt said. “Under Georgia law, taxpayers of Greene County cannot be obligated by these bonds. This is just a legal mechanism that gives hospitals, industries and other beneficial private organizations access to low-interest, tax-exempt bonds, but with no obligation to the government or to taxpayers.”

“This is a big step forward for us and for securing the funding necessary to create a state-of-the-art hospital to better serve our community,” said Montez Carter, interim president of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan. “We are very appreciative of the cooperation and assistance we have received from the development authority. This bond sale will enable us to generate funds at a very low cost, which means will be able to devote more of our resources to making this hospital great and less to paying interest.”

Citizens are welcome to provide comments at the hearing, which will be held in the third floor courtroom at the Greene County Courthouse.

The Nov. 13 TEFRA hearing is required under the federal Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. Its purpose is to make sure that tax-exempt bonds are, in fact, genuinely authorized to be exempt from federal taxation.

The authorizing resolution, which will be considered by Greene County Board of Commissioners at their regular work session on the evening of Nov. 13 and voted on the evening of Nov. 20, states: “The Bonds shall be limited obligations of the Authority and shall be payable solely from the revenues derived by the Authority from payments made by St. Mary's. No owner of the Bonds has the right to compel any exercise of the taxing power of the State of Georgia, Greene County or of any political subdivision thereof, nor to enforce the payment thereof against any property of such State or of any such political subdivision.”

The new Good Samaritan will be a state-of-the-art critical access hospital encompassing about 75,000 square feet of space. It will feature 25 inpatient beds in all-private rooms, an expanded emergency department with advanced diagnostics and telemedicine capabilities, surgical suites, rehabilitation services, cardiac services, outpatient services, and imaging facilities, including the region’s first 64-slice CT scanner.

To further elevate the quality of the hospital, St. Mary’s also is seeking the support of private donations from throughout the community. Donations will be used above and beyond other funding to enable the hospital to provide even more advanced, state-of-the-art equipment, furnishings and technologies. Anyone interested in discussing giving options is invited to contact St. Mary’s Foundation at 706-389-3026

# # #

About St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital
St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital serving the greater Greene County area. Good Samaritan Hospital is a Joint Commission accredited, not-for-profit Catholic hospital guided by St. Mary’s mission to be a compassionate healing presence in the communities we serve. The hospital provides emergency care, inpatient care, surgical services, swing beds, and outpatient services such as diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation and sleep disorders services. St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital recently was one of 26 hospitals named to the Georgia Hospital Association-Partnership for Health and Accountability Core Measures Quality Honor Roll, Trustee Category, and is the only facility in the Lake Oconee area to offer 64-slice CT scanning.