Board approves FGH refinancing, could save county millions

Forrest General to refinance bonds, save county millions

FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Forrest County Board of Supervisors moved forward with a vote Monday in an effort to save taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Forrest County Board of Supervisors approved Forrest General Hospital’s request to refinance bonds.

“The purpose of this refinancing is to save on the interest rate. It’s projected of the possibility of saving approximately $20 million,” Forrest County Board President David Hogan said.

After coming out of executive session, Hogan explained the financial impact.

“We could potentially save over $20 million over the next 20 years in interest payments by refinancing some bonds that included the emergency room addition that we made in 2005 and then the Highland Hospital, which was constructed in 2010,” Hogan said.

Forrest Health Chief Financial Officer Ben Hester issued the following statement to WDAM:

Forrest General Hospital is going through the process of refunding its outstanding bonds. Similar to a homeowner refinancing their mortgage to lower interest costs, Forrest General Hospital is aiming to reduce future interest expense and achieve substantial savings without extending the term of the debt.

“They are looking at approximately $115 million in refinancing of bond issues over the years," Hogan said. "With the current interest rate they are paying, approximately 7%, they are looking at that being reduced to potentially as low as 3 1/2%.”

Hogan said this would save about $20 million over two decades. The bonds expire in the year 2040.

“It shows we have good leadership at Forrest Health," Hogan said. "They are interested in saving the tax payers’ money on interest rates of old bonds.”

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