Washoe wins OK for first phase of financing
Last week’s approval by the Reno City Council of $200 million in taxexempt bonds for Washoe Medical Center expansion marks completion of the first stage of a $380 million hospital financing package.
The hospital expects to return to the City Council in January 2005 and January 2006 to request approval of a total of $180 million in additional bonds, said Dennis Pettigrew, chief financial officer for Washoe Health System, the parent company of the medical center.
The tax-exempt bonds are 100 percent insured and rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, Pettigrew said.
The city government assumes no liability for the debt.
The first phase of the financing package will be used to start building and equipping a 500,000-square-foot tower for patient care services; refund existing debt; and reimburse Washoe Medical Center for capital projects it’s already completed.
The existing, seven-story hospital, will connect to the new tower, will remain operational during and after construction.
However, the main entrance way will be relocated for access from East Second Street during construction.
Remodeling in several areas of the existing hospital will take place after the new tower opens.
Hospital officials have estimated about 500 construction workers will be employed during the project.
“If you’re going to produce roughly 80,000 ounces (of gold) a year at $800 an ounce … and gold is at $1,900 or $2,000 per ounce, that’s going to create a tremendous amount of cash flow.”