SCBHS continues to work on assisted living financing

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Swift County-Benson Health Services continues to wait to hear whether or not the United States Department of Agriculture economic development division will back its loan with Bremer Bank of Willmar.

That $7.352 million loan would provide the majority of financing needed to build an assisted living-memory care facility adjacent to SCBHS. If approved, the USDA would back 70 percent of the project financing. Its backing is essential to closing the loan with Bremer.

Bremer is only financing 80 percent of the appraised value of the project and the SCBHS assets pledged towards it. The gap between the bank loan and the project cost has to come from other sources.

The gap funding would come from Swift County, the City of Benson, equity SCBHS has invested in the project, land equity, grants from the Sonsteng Foundation and cash on its balance sheet. These sources total $2.33 million, bringing the total project cost to $9.682 million.

At its meeting Monday night, SCBHS governing board unanimously passed a resolution that would allow three years of $122,000 annual payments to Swift County to be made toward the assisted living-memory care facility instead. After three years, the payments to the county would resume.

The payments have been used by SCBHS to pay down a $2 million loan it took out in 2012 to help finance the construction of the then new Affiliated Community Medical Centers building as well as remodeling at the hospital.

The loan currently has a balance of about $1.2 million.

Swift County’s Board of Commissioners has not yet decided whether or not it will approve the delayed payments. It indicated at its Oct. 17 meeting that it wasn’t opposed to the idea and would likely support it if everything else falls into place as planned....


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