HONESDALE – During Thursday's meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners, members of Wayne Memorial Hospital were present to discuss the guaranty for the revenue bond that will be used for the master facility plan.

David Hoff, Wayne Memorial Hospital CEO, provided an update on the project.

“It's been in the work now for quite some time,” he said.

“We just recently made a commitment to hire an architect, Burkavage Design Associates and we're also in the process to making a commitment to hire a construction manager.

“That's all part of our planning stages that we're going through.”

Hoff added there have been many meetings with the Honesdale Borough Planning Commission, stating everything is “proceeding very well.”

“Houses have been taken down on Park Street...and that is part of the project as well,” he said.

“We need about 100 additional parking spots [and] that will also create around 100 additional parking spots.”

Hoff said during construction of the facility, between 40-60 parking spots will be eliminated.

Wayne Memorial anticipates construction will begin in March of 2017.

“We need to put the parking lot in first, so that's what we're doing,” Hoff said.

“It's our hope that if everything works out well, we'll be going to the bond market sometime in December of 2016 or January of 2017 to finance our major addition.”

The bond funds will also be used for the cardiac cath lab.

“It's just about done,” Hoff stated. “Equipment is in the process of being installed and if we make it through our inspections we will be open around the end of May.”

He added Wayne Memorial will then be able to offer cardiac cath services to the community.

“It means if you're suffering from an MI [Myocardial infarction-heart attack], you no longer have to be transported a long distance away to get relief,” Hoff explained.

“You can have your intervention done at Wayne Memorial Hospital. We truly believe that project is going to make a difference in a lot of people's lives.”

Hoff added the longer it takes to get an intervention, the more heart muscle is damaged.

“The quicker we can get an intervention for folks in our service area, the better the outcomes will be,” he said. “We're excited about it.

“We have two full time intervention cardiologists...we have three additional ones who have applied for privileges out of the Scranton market, so we'll have at least five intervention cardiologists on our staff.”

Wayne Memorial is also working on becoming a level four trauma center. Hoff said they expect it will be approved by August.

“That means fewer people will be bypassing Wayne Memorial Hospital to go to the trauma center at Geisinger CMC,” he explained.

Commissioner Wendell Kay said Wayne Memorial has made “great strides.”

“We very happy and proud to be affiliated with you,” he said.

“When I speak to groups I mention the hospital...as [an] example of [an] entity that has taken the next step forward in not just planning, but the execution of that plan.

“I thank you for all that has occurred and we're very excited to see how things continue to play out.”

Hoff said Wayne Memorial “very much appreciates” the support from the county and the commissioners.

“We look forward to your future support as well,” he stated.

Commissioner Brian Smith added it's been a long working relationship between the county and the hospital.

“Our working relationship has been fantastic in the past and I think it's only getting better,” he said.

“This is something that provides additional jobs...and it provides for a healthier environment for the citizens of Wayne County. We think this is a great project you have going on.”

Revenue bond

The bond counsel for Wayne Memorial Hospital was present to discuss the guaranty declaration for the project.

“It is the ordinance that is required under the Local Government Unit Debt Act whenever the county is approving a guaranty of debt service, in this case to the hospital's debt,” stated Brian Koscelansky.

“It does everything that we need to do under the Local Government Unit Debt Act. Once it's approved there's a second ad that goes in the paper and a filing that we do with the state.”

He added that's a 30 day process.

“We are planning to file the exclusion certificate at the same time, so when we get the approval back our expectation is we have both the approval and the exclusion for purposes of your debt at the same time,” Koscelansky explained.

“That's what we've done in the past as well.

The ordinance that was approved by the commissioner highlights “step by step” what must be completed in order to approve the guaranty.

“The guaranty and the debt doesn't happen until the bonds are issued,” Koscelansky said. “It's really just starting the paperwork with the state.”

He added the maximum amount is $41 million, which is higher than Wayne Memorial anticipates the bond issue will be.

“Once they do the final pricing of that we just send a letter to the state updating the debt service, which brings the number down to what the final number was,” Koscelansky said.

Other business

• An adoptive assistance agreement was approved for Children & Youth Services.

• An invoice was approved for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG).

“We signed the budget amendment and now we're trying to catch up with the invoicing,” said Chief Clerk Vicky Botjer. “Last time we did the quarter ended September 30.

“Today I have quarter ended December 31, 2015 in the amount of $15,780.17.”

The invoice is for Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2015.

The grant is helping the county with some emergency housing issues for the community.