Riverland Hospital gets $30M USDA loan

Published 12:31 am Friday, November 16, 2018

NATCHEZ — Concordia Parish’s Riverland Medical Center has received a $30 million loan to build an 87,000-square-foot hospital, the USDA announced Thursday.

“We’re filing the paperwork and hope to break ground as soon as we can get good weather,” said Jim Graves, Riverland Medical Center board chairman. “It will be a state-of-the-art healthcare facility with the latest, greatest technology.”

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Graves said the current facility is 50 years old and that Riverland has been working with Merit Health Natchez to keep patients local instead of having to go out of town for health care.

Last month, Graves updated Concordia Police Jury members on the project.

The entire project, Graves said, will be built on U.S. 84 between Ferriday and Vidalia near Marsala Beverage Company and is expected to cost $36 million.

“We have a $30 million loan from the USDA and $6 million guaranteed with the local banks,” Graves told the police jury last month.

New market tax credits and capital outlay money from the state, Graves said, would probably, “wipe out the $6 million or get close to it.”

“We will save the parish $6 million dollars,” Graves said.

Graves said construction is expected to take 18 months from start to finish.

The $30 million loan is part of a nationwide initiative in which the USDA is investing in rural healthcare.

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said the USDA is investing $501 million in 60 projects to help improve health care infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide.

“Creating strong and healthy communities is foundational to increasing prosperity in rural America,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural leaders to improve quality of life and economic development through modern and accessible health care.”