CONTRA COSTA COUNTY: Property Owners Push to Dissolve District
A coalition of Pittsburg residents has launched a ballot initiative to "dissolve the district that collects $1.5 million in property taxes annually to manage the debt of the shuttered Los Medanos Community Hospital." They say that the "district serves no purpose now that the hospital is closed and a bankruptcy court has put together a plan to pay off its debt," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, opponents of the drive, including board chair Al Prince, say the district's existence is necessary until the debt is paid. The hospital settled its debt in October with 1,500 creditors who agreed to accept 37 cents for every dollar owed, totaling $17 million of $135 million in claims. Property owners in Pittsburg and Bay Point have been paying taxes of $1.5 million annually -- most of which is being used to pay off bonds issued to build the hospital in 1977. Contra Costa County will open a "portion of the hospital next winter as an outpatient clinic and urgent-care center, leasing it from the Los Medanos district for $100,000 a year." To qualify for the November ballot, the group must gather 3,100 signatures by August 6 (6/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.