Health District Completes Bond Issuance

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District focus on new Health Center/Pharmacy and renovated Care Center

September 15, 2023

(Wheeler, Oregon) – The Nehalem Bay Health District has completed the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the capital construction and improvements for the Nehalem Bay Health Center and Pharmacy and the Nehalem Valley Care Center.

District taxpayers approved, by a nearly 70% majority, the issuance of general obligation bonds during the May 16, 2023 election.

Proceeds of the sale of the bonds, together with other funds, will be used to finance the construction of a new 17,0000-square-foot Nehalem Bay Health Center and Pharmacy, which will replace an outdated building (the former Rinehart Clinic) and be large enough to offer specialty and dental care serves for the community. The new Health Center and Pharmacy and will be located on District owned property at the corner of US Highway 101 and Hospital Road in Wheeler.

The 45-year-old Nehalem Valley Care Center, which is one of the few skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities on the Oregon coast, will receive major renovations as well as structural improvements to improve the care environment for patients and staff.

The District also eventually plans to repurpose the former Wheeler hospital site for the development of workforce housing, primarily for health care workers and other essential workers within the District.

Architectural design work related to the new Health Center and Pharmacy is ongoing and the District will announce soon the selection of a project manager for the project. A comprehensive plan to renovate and modernize the Care Center is being implemented. And the District has secured a $60,000 grant from Business Oregon to update an earlier hazardous materials assessment of the old Wheeler hospital as a necessary step leading to eventual demolition.

About the District’s Bonds

The District’s bonds received a credit rating of A with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor’s Global Services reflecting the District board’s conservative budgeting practices and active management of the finances that allows the District to maintain strong reserves, on a percentage basis, with modest surpluses.

Prior to the issuance of the bonds, the District board issued a Request for Public Finance Municipal Bond Underwriting services from select firms that provide such services. The Bonds were sold in the public (open) market the morning of August 30, 2023, with D.A. Davidson Co. serving as the selected underwriter.

The Bond sale was well received with orders totaling more than $12.6 million from a variety of investors ranging from individuals, banks, insurance companies, money managers, mutual funds, and a few other broker/dealers. The District’s $6,865,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2023A, having a final maturity of June 15, 2048, were issued with a final true interest cost of 4.89%. The District’s $3,385,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2023B (Federally Taxable), having a final maturity of June 15, 2040, were issued with a final true interest cost of 6.02%.

Prior to the bond measure election and bond issuance, the District retained David Ulbricht with Special Districts Association of Oregon Advisory Services, an independent registered municipal advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Ulbricht was involved extensively with the District through the entire process. Bond, disclosure and tax counsel services were provided by Doug Goe and his team at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Portland, Oregon.

Nehalem Bay Health District Board President Marc Johnson said, “As a board, we are very pleased with the results of the bond sale. We were able to achieve a couple of important objectives, including being able to maximize the bond proceeds received by the District and used for the projects, while minimizing the property tax impact for constituents. District residents will pay an annual property tax to fund the cost of paying the principal and interest on the bonds, as both come due. Based on current taxable assessed values of the District, provided by the Tillamook County assessor, the tax rate is estimated to be less than $0.37 per $1,000 that was estimated prior to the election.”

Additional comments from Nehalem Bay Health District board members

“Words cannot express my gratitude for those that voted to support the bond levy, opening the door to improve healthcare in North Tillamook County. It is my greatest hope that these projects will allow many to come through that door to give and get quality healthcare for all.” – Debbie Moberly, board secretary-treasurer.

“The Bond approval and funding reflects OUR community working together to deliver a local health care solution for all residents. This is a first step in a new beginning for US.” – Anupam Narayan, board member.

“Thanks to the robust support of Nehalem Bay residents we can all look forward to greatly enhanced local healthcare services and facilities.” – Jacki Hinton, board member.

“Quality healthcare services close to home and workforce housing are fundamental to a community’s well-being. I am so grateful that together, as a community, we chose to pursue these priorities. With the closing of the bond sales, our community will now be able to make this vision a reality.” – Lynda Chick, board vice president.