FLINT, MI — In a unanimous vote during their meeting on December 9, 2019, Flint City Council approved the refinancing and addition of $20 million to a Hurley Medical Center bond, dubbed the “2020 Project.”
Lisa Hagan, bond counsel for Hurley Medical Center, was present to give a brief summary of what the bond is and entails. “The bond resolution does two things: it approves the issuance of bonds for Hurley Medical Center, and it approves the various documents that are necessary to issue the bonds,” said Hagan. The plan is to refinance $32 million in bonds that were issued in 2010 while adding an additional $20 million for infrastructural improvements in order to take advantage of interest rates being at an all-time low.
According to Cass Wisniewski, Chief Financial Officer for Hurley Medical Center, this would lower their interest rate by $600,000 a year for the next 20 years or more.
Wisniewski also took to the floor to give an overview of how Hurley plans to utilize these funds.
“The additional $20 million is basically for [the] infrastructure of Hurley Medical Center,” Wisniewski said. “We’re doing a lot of energy upgrades such as generators, chillers, pipes, wiring. We’re also looking to look at risk reduction; basically setting up new generators in case the power at Hurley every goes out, the patients are safe in terms of never having to lose any [electric] power.”
Other changes include the implementation of a pediatric psychiatric program, the remodeling of an entire floor to “handle pediatric psych patients,” creating private rooms for patients, and the replacement of a 7-year-old surgical operating room robot.
It is important to note that while Hurley is seeking Council approval as a component unit of the city of Flint, the city is in no way obligated on the bonds.
“I think it’s good for the people to hear that there is absolutely zero risk exposure to the city,” reiterated Councilman Herbert Winfrey toward the end of discussion. “And I think that needs to be said.”