Kimball Health Services receives USDA loan for new facility

KIMBALL, Neb. — After months of waiting, Kimball Health Services (KHS) finally knows its fate on a loan to help the construction of a new hospital. 

The Kimball hospital announced it received approval for a $23.4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The loan will cover nearly 75 percent of the $32 million the new facility is estimated to cost. 

"We were thrilled to get that phone call from the USDA office in North Platte that the national office in Washington had approved," Kimball Health Services CEO Ken Hunter said. "The most important step was the USDA loan approval and we are very confident that construction will begin in early fall."

Kimball Health Services plans for the rest of the funds includes a $6.4 million general obligation revenue bond that must be approved by the county commissioners and $2.2 million from a capital fundraising campaign by the Kimball Hospital Foundation. 

Due to its statues as a critical access hospital, Medicare can be expected to reimburse KHS for over 50 percent of the project cost, according to Kimball Health Services. They also say the expectation is any bonds sold for financing will be paid back using hospital generated revenues.

News Channel Nebraska talked with Hunter about the proposed project in April. He said they are seeing increased demand for services and have no room to expand at their current location. Most of the current hospital is still original construction from 1950. 

"Our 1950s facility wasn't designed for today's volumes or patient care needs," Hunter said when announcing the loan approval. 

KHS' new facility will be located at the former West Elementary School building. The old school currently houses KHS' North Campus. The roughly 20,000 square-foot building will be renovated. There will also be construction of a new, single-story 40,000 square foot hospital attached to the east side of the existing structure.