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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Public hearing is Tuesday for $30 million WAH project

The city of Windom has sent out over $20 million in bonds for bids, and there will be a public hearing to discuss the financing and building plans for the proposed $30 million Windom Area Health project.

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. at city hall in Windom on Tuesday and this is a required opportunity for the public to ask questions and offer opinions on the issuance of revenue bonds for the city and the four-story, 57,000-square- foot medical office building to be constructed with those funds, if approved.

Windom Area Health CEO Shelby Medina informed that she and Chief Financial Officer John Pereyl will be at the public hearing to answer any questions the public and the city council have.

Medina said that it is unlikely that details on the bonds bids, such as terms and interest rates, will be available on Tuesday as the bids are not required to be submitted until mid-September.
Todd Hagen is a senior municipal adviser from Elhers & Associates, and the CPA told the city council recently that his firm is seeking to finance the $20 million in revenue bonds over a 20-year term with an interest rate projected at approximately 5.25 percent.

At the most recent council meeting, council member Dennis Esplan asked specifically if the council still had time to stop the bond financing because he wanted to hear from the public and have the hearing before final approval was given. He was told there was time, as the city council meeting to vote and award the sale of the bonds will be on Sept. 19.

If the financing is approved and the bonds secured, the project will move fast.

Dr. Jeff Taber is an independent physician and he was given notice that his lease ends Thursday, as if all goes as WAH expects, the clinic he has rented and worked in for nearly 30 years will begin to be torn down as early as Sept. 20, according to Medina. Taber signed a new lease to continue his practice in a smaller, older part of the facility that used to serve as a temporary emergency room area.

For more details on this story, please see the August 30 edition of the Citizen.

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