Piedmont Health Center Seeking City’s Help with Expansion

Hoping to expand the city’s only nursing home, officials on behalf of Piedmont Health Center, asked the Piedmont City Council, on Tuesday, for its help in borrowing the necessary funds.  

Jerry Culberson, president and CEO of Preferred Health Services, which manages the facility, said his company needs about $3.6 million for the expansion of 10 nursing home beds and 10 assisted living beds.

However, Piedmont Health Center is still paying off a bond, which was used for a previous $3 million building project.

Due to the ever increasing cost of healthcare, coupled with the fact that about 80 percent of the center’s patients use Medicaid, which hasn’t increased its reimbursements in many years, Culberson said the company is barely able to pay its current bond payments.

He said he wants to refinance in the current market in order to lower the monthly payments.

 “If we want to do anything we’ve got to do it quickly,” Culberson said, adding, “Interest rates are as low as they’re ever going to get.”

However, because of the city’s current bond debt limit, Culberson said he would be unable to obtain a new bond, which is the company’s preferred method of borrowing money.

Instead, the company would need to seek a commercial loan, which requires collateral. In this case, the center’s facilities would serve as collateral. This loan would be used to pay off the current bond debt and finance the expansion.

However, according to the current debt agreement, if the company tried to dissolve its current bond agreement, the nursing home’s title would revert back to the city, leaving the company without the necessary collateral.

Therefore, Culberson is seeking a resolution from the council, which will allow him to obtain the commercial loan, while retaining the facility as collateral. The city would still have the option to acquire the facility for $1 when the loan is repaid in full or if the agreement is dissolved.

“We’re not asking you for money,” Culberson told the council, adding, “We just need a resolution to allow us to go into the commercial market to borrow money from the bank.”

No action was taken on the matter. The council is expected to vote on a resolution at the next council meeting.

In other business, bills for payment were approved in the amount of $534,870.15.

The council also approved the 2017 holiday schedule for city workers.

The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 3rd following the work session, which is set for 5:30pm.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print