Payments on the $7 million loan Carroll County General Hospital tookout from the county in 1980 have been rescheduled, county finance officials said.

The loan -- of which the hospital owes about $3.7 million -- was being repaid with annual payments of $563,300, and was to be retired in 2000. The restructured payments, which total about $400,000 a year, will be made through 2005, finance officials said.

The rescheduling comes in the wake of $9.4 million in new loans the hospital took out in November, borrowing the money from the county's $15 million bond issue. The payments on that loan are not connected with the payments on the $7 million loan, officials said.

Coupled with the restructuring, however, is a confusion on whether or not the hospital was to make a payment this year, officials said. Should the hospital not make the larger payment, the county could end up an additional $300,000 short in revenues, which would plunge this year's deficit to $3.3 million, officials said. The county and the hospital are negotiating on how much is owed this year.

The payment was to have been made by the end of January.

The loans are going toward capital projects at the hospital.

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