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County backs LRMC refinancing
Measure could save taxpayers $500,000, officials say
BOC Surgical Technologist Week Proclamation
The Liberty County Board of Commissioners saluted surgical technologists at the August meeting. - photo by Tiffany King

County commissioners had a short mid-month meeting in August that included a proclamation, department updates and an intergovernmental agreement with the Liberty Regional Medical Center Hospital Authority.

The commissioners approved amending an intergovernmental agreement with the LRMC Hospital Authority supporting the authority ‘s decision to refinance its debt.

Jim Panell, representing the hospital, said the authority has an opportunity to refinance $13.3 million in debt from 2005 that went towards renovations, equipment and improvements.

The current outstanding balance is $8.15 million. The refinancing will save about $500,000, officials said.

"It will move the current interest rate from 4.96 percent down to 3.16 percent which is about half a million dollars in savings over the life of the bond issue," Panell said. "The other good news is that it can be prepaid at any time. We could refinance it again next year to save more money."

The contract amendment and resolution for bond refinancing was approved.

National Surgical Technologist Week is Sept. 18-24 across the state. Commissioners adopted the resolution to observe the week that focuses on surgical technologists who are "entrusted with the lives and well-being of patients and provide a critical service during surgical procedures," the proclamation read. Surgical technologists sterilize operating room instruments, make sure equipment functions properly and facilitate safe invasive surgical procedures.

Nicol Bates, of Liberty Regional, requested the proclamation. She could not be at the meeting to accept the resolution but hospital staff, including CEO Michael Hester, were there and the proclamation was presented to them.

County engineer Trent Long gave updates on current construction and improvement projects. Construction plans for the Fleming Park pavilion are complete and bids to improve the intersection of Bill Carter Road and Oglethorpe Highway in Midway are out for proposals. Long said he talked with the school system’s transportation department about bus schedules for that road in an effort to figure which time is best to close the road daily for construction. He said closure time could be between 8:30 to 2 p.m. or 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Lewis Frasier Road improvements are mostly complete except for some areas that need to be restriped, he said.

Construction of the animal control facility and detective’s office at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and the are underway and on schedule, Long said.

July’s financial report was called "pretty uneventful" by Kim McGlothlin, the county’s chief financial officer. In July the county collected about 2 percent in their revenues and utilized about 4 percent of expenditures. Every department is operating within their budget or lower, McGlothlin said. She noted that the E-911 department is running ahead of schedule because they recently paid $80,000 for their annual maintenance contract with Motorola.

The board heard some other updates from County Administrator Joey Brown. The runway extension project at MidCoast Regional at Wright Army Airfield is scheduled to be completed early next year.

The county will be research a walking trail grant for the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway.

Brown mentioned the grand opening of the Live Oak Public Libraries Hinesville branch and a section of the library will be dedicated to former educator Joan Hollingsworth.

Shawn Parker was appointed to the EMS Region 9 advisory council.

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