Kesner: PH in Process of Completing $10M Financing

CLEARFIELD – Penn Highlands Healthcare has initiated the process of completing a $10 million financing, reported Solicitor Kim Kesner at yesterday’s Clearfield County Commissioners’ meeting.

Penn Highlands Healthcare consists of campuses in Clearfield, DuBois, St. Marys and Brookville. A portion, Kesner explained, is for refinancing and another portion is to generate revenue for new construction.

According to him, it will be a non-taxable financing that under the Internal Revenue code requires tefra approval by the commissioners. He was contacted by the attorney for the DuBois Hospital Authority and bond counsel who provided a resolution for him to present to the commissioners at a future meeting.

The DuBois Hospital Authority, Kesner said, must first conduct its tefra hearing and is currently in the process of scheduling it. He anticipated that the commissioners would be asked to consider a resolution in support of Penn Highlands Healthcare at a meeting in early June.

When asked by Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen, Kesner said he would have to clarify the site of the new construction. However, he indicated he was “relatively certain” that the expansion was planned for the DuBois campus of Penn Highlands.

Also, during the solicitor’s report, Kesner announced legal developments regarding Clearfield County’s Solid Waste Plan. Waste Management, he said, had previously appealed the state Department of Environmental Protection’s approval of the county’s solid waste plan.

According to him, the county and DEP have withstood the first challenge made by Waste Management. Waste Management, he said, filed two motions for summary judgment against the DEP’s approval.

Kesner said it was a pre-trial attempt to have judgment entered in the favor of Waste Management. He said in order for these motions to be granted, the Environmental Hearing Board must find no material issues of fact and the law must be clear.

He said Waste Management has argued that the DEP’s approval of the county’s solid waste plan is defective. Principally, Waste Management has taken issue with Clearfield County requesting voluntary benefits from disposal facilities to support its recycling program.

Kesner said he was pleased that the EHB denied Waste Management’s motions for summary judgment. As a result, he said the EHB has validated what the county has done as a matter of law and as a matter of fact.

Kesner also reminded the commissioners that this is just the first step. Waste Management, he said, has the ability to proceed to a hearing before the EHB; however, Kesner believed the recent opinion rendered by the EHB favors Clearfield County and the DEP.

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