MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — One local city may pay a hefty price for a large project. Trinity Health is asking for $3 million for an emergency trauma center and other developments at the new facility.
The new Trinity Hospital building under construction looks grand on the outside and is expected to bring economic growth to Minot. But when members of Trinity Health asked for $3 million from the MAGIC fund to help complete the project, concerns were raised in the City Council. Initially, Trinity asked for $3 million under a forgivable loan.
“I’m not interested in doing a forgivable loan on this item. I am not interested in what some in the community perceive as a bailout. I am interested, however, in investing in a community partner if it’s in the best interest of the community,” said Paul Pitner, Alderman for the Minot City Council.
$2.6 million would be for hospital equipment and just over $365,000 would go toward the trauma center’s construction costs. But after further discussion, city council members came to what they feel is a compromise.
“They changed it from a forgivable loan to an unforgivable loan at 4% interest rates and put in a lot of different stipulations regarding the buildings in downtown Minot and kind of developing a plan for that,” said Scott Burlingame the new Alderman elect for the Minot City Council.
One of the many stipulations for the $3 million loan includes Trinity demolishing or selling the variety of buildings that will be moved out of once the new hospital is complete, within five and 10 years.
If Trinity defaults on the loan, the city will then own the downtown properties. $300,000 of the loan would be forgiven if members of Trinity agreed to complete traffic improvements suggested near the new hospital.
“I think that the situation with Trinity is a good example of a good idea. But I think we really have to take a hard look at, is that the best use of that money or not. And make sure as we move through this process that the best interest of all the taxpayers are kept in mind,” said Burlingame.
City Council members agreed with the stipulations for the loan, unanimously. But Trinity’s Vice President Randy Schwan said the proposition would have to be discussed with board members before any final decisions are made. The new Trinity hospital campus could end up costing more than $500 million in total.