WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV) - Voters will soon decide whether or not to pass a bond measure for the Watsonville community hospital. On Wednesday night, the Pajaro Valley Health Care District unanimously decided to have the measure on the March 2024 election ballot.
“It would benefit the community as a great deal, because we would have additional services, additional capacity to take care of people here in their, in their community," Watsonville Community Hospital CEO Stephen Gray said.
According to the hospital, the bond would also allow them to purchase the land and building they’ve been operating on and leasing.
The hospital’s CEO said this bond is needed for long-term success, and part of their financial turnaround plan.
“We lost the hospital lost $30 million in 2021. This year, we're on pace to lose about $6 [million] to $8 million, which is significantly better than $30 [million], but it still has a ways to go.”
Gray goes on to say the hospital would be able to save $3 million alone on rent payments. An overwhelming majority of those in Wednesday’s meeting were in favor of the bond measure.
Multiple people during public comment didn't love the idea of paying taxes or bonds, but felt passionate about the need for the hospital in the area.
Hospital officials also emphasized this bond would prevent people from having to travel out of the area Watsonville Community Hospital was previously sold the the Pajaro Health Care District in October 2021.