The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), sponsor of last year’s successful voter-approved $247 million bond measure that will finance a number of capital improvement construction projects over the next several years at Grossmont Hospital, has declared its election expenses paid to the County of San Diego as non-reimbursable from bond funds.
A recent unanimous vote by the GHD board of directors ensures that nearly $83,000 of monies approved by the voters goes as intended to improve Grossmont Hospital, instead of to administer the cost of the election. Under state law, reimbursement for election expenses is permitted.
The action adds another $82,807 to an account specified for hospital-related improvements, an amount that could have been recouped from bond proceeds and deposited into the District’s General Fund. For the June 2006 election, GHD spent that amount with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters for various election costs, including printing and distribution and processing of ballots. California law allows public agencies to be reimbursed for election costs from bond proceeds if the ballot measure is passed. Voters approved the Proposition G bond measure by more than 77 percent, well above the two-thirds approval required.
“Quite frankly, when we decided in early 2006 to place Proposition G on the ballot, it never occurred to us that election expenses paid to the County of San Diego could be recovered,” said Dr. John Hardebeck, 2007 president of the GHD board of directors. “The voters approved Prop. G to improve and upgrade the facilities at Grossmont Hospital, and that is where we will use the money.”
Plans call for bond proceeds to help pay for such improvement projects as completing the hospital's emergency and critical care center and expand rapid-response cardiac care capabilities, as specified in the hospital’s facilities master site plan. Other improvements at the hospital that voters approved with the bond measure will include 90 new patient beds to support a growing population, compliance with earthquake standards and upgrading the 50-year-old hospital's electrical, plumbing, along with other building systems infrastructure to support state-of-the-art medical technology.
Construction at the hospital is expected to begin later this year following the initial sale of bond securities through the institutional investment and banking community. District officials expect the bonds will be well-received by investors because of the District’s financial stability.
The Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego's East County region, was formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital. It serves as landlord of the hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent nearly 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. Hospital In 1991, the District leased the hospital's operation to Sharp HealthCare under a 30-year lease that runs through the year 2021. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.