Members of the Corcoran Hospital District’s board of trustees are hoping residents will vote in favor of Measure T in November. It won’t cost anything and it will help the district clear its indebtedness.
The initiative is aimed at allowing the board to sell off all remaining Corcoran District Hospital assets, including the hospital building and the surrounding property that was purchased with hopes of a new hospital in mind. Should voters approve the sale, the money raised will be used to pay off the hospital’s debts.
Corcoran District Hospital closed three years ago amidst continued financial difficulties. Voters had passed an $18 million bond several years ago that was to be used to build a new facility. However, even though surrounding property was purchased, it was almost immediately apparent that the bond would not be enough to get the job done.
Instead, the hospital invested almost $1 million to get medical records computerized; other funds were spent on repairs and, finally, to meet payroll demands.
When the facility finally shut its doors, the only improvement was a new parking lot.
And the hospital was over $6 million in debt, despite using much of the bond money. About $3 million in remaining bonds were never sold.
The board has remained in place, since the hospital district remains intact. The district still receives property tax money every year.
That money has been used to pay down the hospital remaining debt. According to Mike Graville, about $1.5 million remains to be paid, most of it overpayments received from Medical and MediCare. Should voters approve the asset sale, those vendors will be paid, Graville noted.
There has been interest shown in the property, he added. Adventist Health would like to open a new clinic in Corcoran and could use the property for that purpose. Adventist currently operates the clinic located in the hospital building.
Graville said a recent appraisal of the property showed its value at about $1.3 million.
In order to sell, voters must approve the measure by 50 percent, plus one, vote.
Graville said once the district pays off all its bills, any income can be used for health-related services for the community. He said the board plans to hold a public hearing prior to the Nov. 8 election to garner support for the sale and gain information on what types of health issues the public would like to see provided.