Brown Co. board OKs Oak Hills renovation conduit bonds

Up to $10 million for existing 94 nursing home rooms

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved the issuance of up to $10 million in conduit bonding Tuesday to renovate all existing 94 Oak Hills Living Center nursing home rooms.

Approval of the issuance of Health Care Facilities Revenue Note came on a motion by Commissioner Scott Windschitl, seconded by Tony Berg.

The renovation project includes window replacement, new fixtures and furniture.

Brown County Administrator Sam Hansen said the bond request is a way to help Oak Hills Living Center with a “fairly large” project.

Commissioner Windschitl asked if Brown County had any financial obligation with the bond funds.

“No. This is only for access to tax-exempt funds,” said Chris Virta of the Fryberger Law Firm, St. Paul.

He asked Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens if the County has any plans for highway projects anywhere close to needing bonding at this point.

“I’m not planning on it,” Stevens said.

“I fully support this. I just want to make sure we know what we’re getting into,” said Windschitl.

United Prairie Bank Market President Mark Peterson of New Ulm said the bond amount may be slightly less than $10 million. United Prairie Bank is the lender for the transaction, according to the resolution.

“I completely support this and what Oak Hills supplies to the community. He asked if Brown County would still have bonding ability if Oak Hills uses the bond money.

Virta said Brown County could still issue $3 million in tax exempt bonds.

No public comments were heard at a public hearing for the Oak Hills project.

Oak Hills Living Center is a stand-alone, community-owned, 501c3 non-profit retirement community governed by a board of directors comprised of community members.


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