C-TH bond debt approved

Bond debt of $95 million to build Carson-Tahoe Hospital's new regional medical center was approved Thursday by Carson City supervisors.

"Today's approval means Carson-Tahoe is ready to incur that debt and start construction on the new medical center," said Ed Epperson, Carson-Tahoe's chief executive officer.

Excavation for roads, trenching and site preparation for the building's pad have begun and the utilities have been placed to keep the project on track. Construction of the new regional medical center is expected to start in November and be completed in late 2005, Epperson said.

That $95 million is divided into two bonds - a $45 million fixed-rate bond insured by Radian Asset Guarantee Corp. and a $50 million variable demand rate bond guaranteed by U.S. Bank.

"The debt is guaranteed both by Radian and U.S. Bank to assure there is no liability to the city or state," said Michael Blair, chief financial officer for Carson-Tahoe. "Because the city is the conduit (for this transaction), they have to approve the full form of the documents. That allowed them to ask questions and approve the transaction."

He said a preliminary offering statement will be issued Tuesday and the transaction should close Nov. 13.

"When we sign those papers, we will have a foot-high stack of non-redundant documents," Blair said.

"This is an enormous transaction."

Located on 70 acres between Eagle Ranch Road and Highway 395 in north Carson City, the new regional medical center will stand three stories high, with a partial basement. Plans for the 146-bed hospital include 134 private rooms, a helipad and parking for 714 cars. About three times the size of the current hospital, the building is 338,000 square feet.

When completed, the complex will include a separate short-stay hospital with 15 inpatient rooms.

There will also be a $12 million, 38,000-square-foot cancer center.


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