In the April 1 issue of The Lima News, there was an amazingly short article dealing with the questionable Allen County commissioners’ approval of an amazingly high (approaching $1 billion) local bond issue for Catholic Health Partners (parent company of St. Rita’s Medical Center). Has there previously been a bond issue in Allen County that even approached such a enormous amount?
St. Rita’s CFO John Renner said the bond was a part of debt restructuring for Catholic Health Partners’ 31 facilities. But he also said the debt restructuring will allow St Rita’s Medical Center to respond as situations change. Those two statements seem conflicted. Which is correct? Is the bond issue for Catholic Health Partners debt restructuring for its 31 facilities or for St Rita’s future uses? If it is for St Rita’s future uses, what possibly would they use almost $1 billion for? Were not the commissioners — before they approved the bond issue — given some idea of what the funds would be used for? Surely, they would not have just signed a $825 million bond issue without knowledge of its potential uses.
Why did the commissioners get involved with and take on local bond approval responsibility for the whole of Catholic Health Partners when its headquarters is in Cincinnati? Why didn’t Catholic Health Partners seek and obtain bond approval in their headquarters town of Cincinnati rather than Lima?
I strongly feel the public deserves far more explanation of the approved $825 million bond issue — by the commissioners, by the media and by St Rita’s. There are no doubt many more questions that deserve answers than the questions above.