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Refinancing Lockport Memorial Hospital's main mortgage has been delayed for at least five weeks.

The board of the State Dormitory Authority, meeting Wednesday in New York City, did not act on the refinancing, a key component of a plan to get the 134-bed hospital out of the red.

Claudia S. Hutton, an authority spokeswoman, said the Lockport deal was not on the agenda because "we have not received acceptable, audited financial statements (from Lockport Memorial) for 1998 yet."

The authority's next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27 in Buffalo General Hospital, Hutton said.

"Until we get audited statements, we can't responsibly present that (refinancing) to the board," she said.

"The dormitory authority, as part of its normal process, has asked LMH for additional clarification, and we are in the process of providing that," said Clare A. Haar, Lockport Memorial's chief executive officer.

"Lockport Memorial is not the only hospital from which we haven't received the financials, but they're in a very small club. We know they want the refinancing. They'll get them in," Hutton said.

The refinancing plan calls for the authority to sell investors as much as $15.7 million worth of 40-year, tax-exempt bonds, secured by mortgage insurance issued by the Federal Housing Administration.

The FHA is backing the original 30-year set of mortgage bonds. The dormitory authority administers the FHA's hospital mortgages in New York State.

Earlier this year, the authority's board gave preliminary approval for a refinancing, and last month the Public Authorities Control Board approved it.

The refinancing is supposed to save the hospital more than $400,000 per year, by reducing the interest rate on the mortgage and stretching out the payments for 12 more years.

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