Above: The Dumas City Commission approved a resolution supporting the expansion of the Moore County Hospital District. MCHD CEO Jeff Turner said the district is applying for a direct loan from the USDA with a fixed 3.125 percent interest rate for 40 years.

The Dumas City Commission on Monday approved a resolution supporting the Moore County Hospital District’s plans to renovate Memorial Hospital and the construction of a patient care addition. MCHD CEO Jeff Turner told the commissioners that although the resolution demonstrates the Commission’s support of the expansion, no tax dollars will be used to fund it.

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“We’re seeking a direct loan from the USDA,” Turner said. “They offer by far the best financing rate available. If we’re able to secure this money in this quarter, then we should achieve a 3.125 (fixed interest rate) for the next 40 years.”

Turner said MCHD will hold a public information meeting, which USDA officials will attend, at 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Amarillo College Larry Appel Lecture Hall.

“One of the things they’d (USDA) like to see as part of that presentation is if there is support from the Commission in the form of a resolution that would demonstrate from this elected body your support to continue to provide appropriate world-class care to this community.”

The Commission approved MCHD’s request to abandon a portion of 2nd Street between Bliss and Meredith avenues Oct. 20, 2014. The hospital district paid a fair market value of $23,000 for the street, and Turner said the project would add 55,000 square feet of space for new patient care facility and 6,500 square feet of renovation at Memorial Hospital.

At Monday’s meeting, Turner said he was told a gas line runs under 2nd Street, and the hospital district will pay to move it.

“A key and important component of this project is that no tax dollars will be used,” Turner said. “We will fund our loan payments through operations.”

MCHD plans to borrow about $25 million from the USDA for the expansion, Turner said. The USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program “provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas,” according to its website.

Commissioner Steve Bodnar abstained from voting on the resolution.