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Edgerton Hospital playing the waiting game with feds

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Stacy Vogel
November 7, 2009
— First September came and went.

Then October.


Edgerton Hospital and Health Services still is waiting.


The hospital had hoped to find out about federal financing for its new facility by Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. But that benchmark passed five weeks ago.


"That's the federal government at work," said Jim Pernau, Edgerton Hospital CEO.


The hospital applied to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's health care mortgage insurance program. If the application is approved, HUD would guarantee loans made by private lenders for $25.9 million, the full cost of the hospital.


Federal officials visited the site on Highway 59 and Sherman Road in late August, and hospital officials were hopeful they could break ground by early October.


Pernau and Jim Schultz, hospital foundation chairman, still believe the hospital can break ground before winter if HUD responds soon, they said.


"We're just kind of in the ready-to-go, waiting mode," Schultz said.


HUD hasn't given any reason for the delay or an estimate for when the hospital will learn its application's fate, Pernau said.


Lemar Wooley, a HUD spokesman, told the Gazette on Oct. 2 that the review of the application probably would be completed by the end of October. He said HUD was awaiting a report from its independent feasibility consultant.


On Nov. 4, he said the application still was under review and should be completed soon. Program officials didn't give a reason for the delay, he said.


Hospital plans call for a 56,000-square-foot hospital with 25 beds and an adjacent, 10,000-square-foot medical office building. Organizers describe the entire project as a "healthy village" and hope eventually to have other health and wellness facilities on the campus.


Edgerton Care Center, which split from the hospital in 2008, plans to build a skilled nursing and assisted living home there.


The hospital foundation has raised $1.7 million in donations for the healthy village project, Schultz said. He expects more donations to come in once construction begins.


Officials hope the facility can open in spring 2011 if construction begins this fall.



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