In a nine-minute meeting held Monday over the noon hour, Bothwell Regional Health Center asked for approval from Sedalia City Council to borrow an $18 million line of credit from local banks to cover payroll.

The meeting was streamed live online through GoToWebinar, and was considered a public meeting viewable by anyone who signed up for it.

Chief Financial Officer Steve Davis made the request to have a line of credit against Bothwell's account receivables, which totals $22 million.

Davis noted that BRHC has canceled all of its elective surgeries, and that the emergency room volume is currently down 50 percent.

City Administrator Kelvin Shaw explained that the requested line of credit is to cover the hospital's payroll, which is a significant portion of the hospital’s total expenditures.

The City-chartered Bothwell, which has been in operation since 1930, employs a staff of 834 employees and 100 physicians, according to BHRC's own website.

Shaw recommended the Council authorize Bothwell staff to put together the necessary documents for the line of credit and then bring them back at a later date for formal approval.

City Administrator Shaw added that it would be a revolving line of credit and withdrawals would only be made if needed.

Councilman Andrew Dawson inquired if the line of credit would disqualify the city at the State and Federal level and Davis said no.

Councilman Jeff Leeman commented that part of the agreement should be a “no pre-pay penalty” and Mr. Davis replied that it will be written in the documents. All in favor agreed to the request. Councilmen Charles Lowe and Tollie Rowe were absent from Monday's meeting.

City Attorney Anne Gardner stated that the technology used in order to have the Monday meeting remotely is due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which allows the City to deviate from normal Sunshine Law requirements

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