SUNNYSIDE — Last week’s announcement regarding Astria Health filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy not only placed what officials are calling a “pause” on creditors, it also pauses forward movement on a new Astria Sunnyside Hospital campus.
When it was announced in 2015 that a new campus was planned, officials said they would be seeking funding support from the state.
With assistance from the city, funding for water and sewer utilities to the property at Alexander and Waneta roads was secured from the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) and Supporting Investments in Economic Development (SIED) boards.
CERB awarded funding in the amount of $2 million in the form of a combined $1.3 million loan, $700,000 grant, Public Works Director Shane Fisher said.
Funding from SIED was awarded in a 50 percent loan/50 percent grant amounting to $1.5 million, he said.
Hospital officials, in the initial planning stages, also planned to seek funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development (USDA), which assists with funding for healthcare facilities.
“The city’s part is in support of utility expansions,” City Manager Martin Casey said, noting the city was an interested party in providing a letter of support when the hospital applied for USDA funds.
He said former City Manager Don Day spoke to the CERB board and Fisher spoke with the SIED board last year to provide updates on the hospital campus’ status.
“When Don met with CERB, since we were at the end of time for our commitment… he met with them when they were in town, visiting the Grapevine Inn… he explained the hospital had to resubmit an application with USDA,” Fisher said.
The CERB board was impressed with Day’s approach and explanation, extending the funding and asking for future updates, Fisher said.
The same was true with SIED, and Fisher said Astria Sunnyside Hospital CEO Brian Gibbons accompanied him to that meeting.
Both boards, Fisher said, are waiting for the hospital to resubmit an application to USDA.