The Riverdale Town Council is considering issuing two bonds worth a total of more than $28 million to help two hospitals improve their facilities.
The town would not be liable for the loans if Leland Memorial Hospital, 4400 Queensbury Rd., and Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park fail to make payments. Both hospitals are operated by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists.
Under the proposal, introduced at last week's council meeting, the town would act as a sort of cosigner so the hospitals will not have to pay taxes on the loans, Town Administrator Patrick Prangley said.
Leland Memorial Hospital would use a $1.2 million bond to make improvements on a new addition. A $27 million bond would be used for general improvements at both hospitals.
"We have had experience with bond issuances before, having issued one to Leland Memorial in 1979," Prangley said. "We think it is a good idea because if the hospital pays less for the loans, their operating costs are less and, consequently, hospital patients will pay less for using the facility."
He said it was legal for Riverdale to issue a bond for a hospital in another jurisdiction.
In other business, the council changed the fees for persons who do not pay traffic violation penalties by the deadline. Those who fail to pay the fines within 15 days will be charged twice the penalty and after 30 days, three times that amount.