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Berkeley County Council authorizes issuing bonds to help health center retire some debt

May 03, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Council voted unanimously Thursday to authorize issuing $3.2 million in bonds to help Shenandoah Community Health Center retire some debt and make renovations to its facility along Tavern Road in Martinsburg.

Attorney Kenneth J. Barton Jr. told county council members that the health center plans to restructure some of its financial obligations with BB&T bank, and is eyeing several renovations, including improvements for laboratory, dental, radiology and women’s health services.

The bonds are to be purchased by BB&T, and the council only is to act as a “conduit,” meaning the county faces no liability to pay off the bonds, according to Barton.

The bonds issued through the county can be tax-exempt, allowing a lower borrowing cost for the health system, which is part of the nonprofit Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems Inc.

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Shenandoah Valley provides care to all patients, but a large majority are among the most needy financially, according to the health system.

Shenandoah Valley has more than 260 clinicians and support staff who provide more than $10 million in needed health care and nutritional services annually for those who are unable to pay.

The health system’s service area encompasses five jurisdictions, including Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan and Hampshire counties in West Virginia and Frederick County in Virginia.

— Matthew Umstead

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