Cory Nelson speaks at county meeting

Sioux Center Health CEO Cory Nelson speaks with the Sioux County Board of Supervisors about the hospital’s expansion plans as supervisor John Degen of Hawarden examines information for the project.

ORANGE CITYSioux Center Health is working to partner with Sioux County to help fund its planned $33 million expansion plan.

Cory Nelson, the Sioux Center Health CEO, spoke Wednesday, Nov. 13, with the Sioux County Board of Supervisors about the hospital’s plans and their efforts to fund the project.

Approval came Nov. 4 on Sioux Center’s U.S. Department of Agriculture loan at 3 percent for $25 million.

Sioux Center Health’s capital campaign seeks to raise $6 million for the project, with the remaining $2 million to be covered through additional bank loans.

With these funds, Sioux Center Health will expand its Senior Living campus at Royale Meadows and Crown Pointe and will add a memory care facility. The Sioux Center Health campus will also be expanded, with attention to remodeling the main entrance, adding 16 medical exam rooms to the family medical clinic and add seven rooms to the specialty clinic.

Sioux Center Health also plans to build a 6,044-square-foot medical office building on the southeast portion of its main hospital campus.

Through the planned work there, it’s hoped the hospital is better able to guide guests and patients to where they need to be.

The Sioux County supervisors unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a memorandum of agreement with Sioux Center Health to issue $8 million of its bonding authority to the hospital to help fund the project.

With that done, a public hearing has been set for the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, Dec. 10, to approve the memorandum of agreement between the county and the hospital.

“We’re looking to fundraise about $6 million and then use another couple million in bank loans of our own equity to get it all done,” Nelson said. “Like any construction project, the USDA, like a bank, will not release the loan funds until the closing of the project, until it’s all completed, so we essentially need bridge financing for that. That’s where we’re looking at that $8 million this year and $6 million next year in bonding authority through the county.”

The city of Hull on Monday authorized $9 million in bonding authority for calendar year 2019 for Sioux Center Health.

Sioux Center is not able to contribute as a bonding authority due to other projects it has in the works.

“That’s why we have to use you guys and the city of Hull, plus the whole amount. Getting up to that $30 million number takes a bit of effort,” Nelson told the supervisors Wednesday.

The county has a $10 million bonding authority per calendar year, with $1.85 million already spoken for this year.

Nelson requested the county approve $8 million in bonding authority for calendar year 2019. He would have to make a separate request to the county to ask for $6 million through its bonding authority next year.

Sioux County attorney Tom Kunstle did not see the request for this year or the separate future request for $6 million to be an issue for other county projects. He added that the county is not putting itself at risk for this.

“The resolution talks about this, that this isn’t considered county debt. It’s more of a conduit. So, we’re not obligated to pay that back,” Kunstle said.