High interest rates delay $23M Colorado hospital upgrades

Cortez, Colo.-based Southwest Memorial Hospital's $23 million improvement efforts stalled amid refinancing challenges, according to The Durango Herald.

Last May, voters passed a ballot measure for a 0.04 percent sales tax that would benefit the hospital. Southwest Memorial plans to restructure its bond debt and finance $23 million in needed upgrades for the emergency department, surgery center and more. But the projects are now on hold because interest rates exceed 5 percent.

The ballot measure stipulated interest rates be 5 percent or lower to continue the refinancing and construction projects, which will be delayed until rates drop. Montezuma County Health District Chair Dean Mathews said interest rates may keep rising, according to the report.

The hospital aims to use $10 million to construct a new emergency department building and remodel the surgery department, which is expected to cost $3 million to $4 million. The hospital also needs infrastructure and maintenance updates.

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