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UMC looks to place $400M bond on El Pasoans’ November ballot

El Paso voters could be making two important decisions this November.

Not only is El Paso County considering what projects to put on a potential major bond initiative come election time, but University Medical Center could also have a nearly $400 million bond on the ballot.

UMC will present a bond proposal to County Commissioners during next week’s meeting after its board approved a $396.6 million proposal on Tuesday, aimed at improving many of the healthcare institution’s services and facilities.

Some El Pasoans that CBS4 spoke to seemed in favor of the move.

“It’s always good to have an improved healthcare system for our city,” said Borderland resident Ana Morones.

University Medical Center plans to ask voters for $396.6 million, which it said will be used for new surgical suites, additions to its burn center and expanded services to six parts of El Paso County.

However, one El Paso taxpayer said they would like to see improvements in other areas as well.

“I really believe they need to work more on mental hospital, they need to work on inclusion of different people,” said Pat Torres.

According to a recent El Paso Matters report, UMC’s chief financial officer said during a meeting Tuesday that the impact on the average taxpayer would be $7.95 a month, something that Morones feels conflicted about.

“In some cities, it seems like they don’t pay as much taxes as we do when they have a nicer city. And it seems like we pay a lot of taxes here and this city still needs a lot of improvements.”

Meanwhile, Torres said providing the funds is part of living in El Paso.

“I just feel like that’s just part of becoming a bigger and bigger city.”

This isn’t the first time UMC has tried to get additional funding through taxpayers.

In 2022, UMC asked county commissioners to approve $345.7 million — or $50 million less than its current ask — in certificates of obligation that would not have needed voter approval.

However, that effort was halted after 35,000 signatures opposing the request were collected.

“It might not pass if people are not willing to pay any more taxes, it just might not pass,” said Morones.

UMC will present the bond proposal to county commissioners next week.

View the whole presentation here;

RELATED: University Medical Center proposes $396.6 million bond to improve facilities and care

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