Texas hospital seeks $400M in bonds for improvements

The El Paso (Texas) County Hospital District is seeking to issue up to $400 million in certificates of obligation for several improvements at the University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Matters reported June 16.

Certificates of obligation are bonds that don't need voter approval.

The commissioners asked for time to receive public input before voting on the request. The commissioners will return to the request June 27, according to the report.

The money would be used for an expansion of the emergency room, cancer center, children's inpatient surgery and emergency department, burn operating rooms and ambulatory services. It would also go toward a neighborhood health center in the city.

The bonds would raise the tax rate by less than 6 cents for the first 10 years and then under 3 cents for years 11 through 25, said Michael Nuñez, CFO of the hospital district, according to the report.

The commissioners agreed the improvements are necessary but felt the public needed more time to understand the debt.

"We need to have the public involved in our discussions and ask them, 'What is it that you want us to do?' And that they understand exactly what the ramifications are if we vote yes, and what the ramifications are if we vote it down," Commissioner Carlos Leon said, according to the report.

Read more here.

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