Friday, February 10, 2006

Supes Approve Loan to Hospitals

Supes Approve Loan to Hospitals
By Jason Massad/Staff Writer

NorthBay Healthcare's hospitals in both Vacaville and Fairfield will upgrade their cardiology equipment, trauma centers and computer networks with an upcoming $12.5 million in financing.

Solano County supervisors approved Tuesday a low-interest loan between NorthBay Healthcare and the Association of Bay Area Governments, which would issue bonds through a financing company for the loan. The money will buy upgraded equipment for VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville and NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield.

The county board's approval, which was unanimous, was required for the financing arrangement.

"I'm glad we're in a position to help them," Chuck Lomeli, the county's treasurer-tax collector, told the board.

Art DeNio, NorthBay's chief financial officer, said that the governmental loan was a "tactic of financing."

Acquisitions of replacement equipment for the hospital systems normally are financed internally, DeNio noted, but such funds currently are tied up in other projects including the expansion of the emergency room at VacaValley Hospital and other developments undertaken this year.

ABAG is required to oversee that the use of the loan approved Tuesday is compliant with federal restrictions on the low-interest loans.

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