ROME, NY – The Oneida County Local Development Corporation met Friday morning, and on the agenda was financing for the Mohawk Valley Health System’s downtown hospital project.
MVHS sought to approve tax exempt bonds of $300 million, and a mortgage tax exemption if MVHS decides they need to take out a mortgage on the property.
The OCLDC members approved the resolution unanimously. Before doing so, the members had many questions for MVHS chief financial officer Lou Aiello which pertained to the project's status.
Aiello said behind the scenes financial meetings like these are crucial towards getting shovels in the ground and saving money.
“Without the LDC's approval to get the county to issue the tax-exempt bonds, the debt would be – the issuance of bonds would be taxable, thus it would raise the cost through interest rates. So the interest rate on the bonds would be higher if they were taxable versus a tax exempt bond," said Aiello.
MVHS says there are still a few properties outside of the hospital footprint – specifically the area of the proposed parking garage – which have yet to be purchased. They say those negotiations continue.
NewsChannel 2 reached out to Oneida County officials for comment on the potential for eminent domain, should negotiations between MVHS and the remaining property owners reach an impasse.
“Mohawk Valley Health System is proceeding with its negotiations with property owners in the footprint of the new downtown hospital campus. Oneida County awaits the outcome of that process,” said Oneida County Attorney Peter Rayhill.
A date for breaking ground on the new hospital has not yet been announced.