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County executive works with fiscal stability authority to secure lower rate
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued a formal declaration of need on Monday, requesting the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority to conduct borrowing to finance necessary capital projects at the Erie County Medical Center.
The Erie County Medical Center Corp. has identified the construction of a new emergency department, along with concurrent land acquisition and parking, as a key need for the primary level 1 adult trauma center in the region. Additional projects at the ECMC campus include the replacement of energy equipment and controls in the ECMCC tower, many of which are original to the facility's construction; an evaluation of the entire building envelope, including windows and other building exterior components, with replacement of components where necessary; replacement of original elevators; and renovations to the hospital's clinics, which are experiencing increased patient volume.
The amount to be borrowed by the ECFSA will not exceed $100 million.
"By issuing this declaration of need, I am reaffirming my commitment to our community that we have the best health care possible, especially for those who need critical emergency care," Poloncarz said. "As our region's only level 1 adult trauma center, it is imperative that ECMC be able to provide state-of-the-art care across the board, and the improvements to be financed by this bond will make that care possible. ECMC will save millions of dollars in long-term interest by borrowing through the ECFSA than if it borrowed on its own, which is good news for all residents. My administration never stopped working to find a solution to this issue, and I thank ECMC's board of trustees and its president and CEO, Tom Quatroche, along with the members of the board of ECFSA and board Chairman James Sampson, for working with me to get the job done for the people of Erie County."
Also included among the projects to be financed through the ECFSA borrowing is an expansion of the hospital's education center. As a major teaching hospital affiliate of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as other affiliated teaching programs in other medical professions, ECMCC requires dedicated space to meet its mission as an educational institution. The education center funded by the proceeds will not only provide this much-needed space, Poloncarz's camp said, but will also provide space for staff education and training to maintain their professional skills and continue to learn best practices in the provision of health care as the science evolves.
Renovations to the hospital nursing unit, necessitated by the reconfiguration of the health care system and the shift from inpatient services to outpatient and other services, are also identified as a need and will allow ECMC to use space in the most cost-effective fashion as patient care units transform to meet community needs.