Grossmont Hospital’s citizens’ oversight group issues its 2015 annual report on taxpayer bond expenditures for hospital construction

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The citizens group overseeing the spending of millions of dollars in taxpayer-approved bonds for new and improved patient care facilities at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has issued its 2015 Annual Report to the Community.

The Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC) consists of uncompensated, volunteer East County residents who are monitoring how the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is spending bond proceeds to finance several construction projects at the publicly-owned hospital.

The 2015 Annual Report notes the 10-year anniversary of bond-related construction at the hospital since voters approved Proposition G in June 2006. The Report’s timeline marks a chronology of major events in the history of Prop. G, starting with the 2006 vote and the first ICBOC meeting held in October 2006. The timeline also gives an estimated timeframe of future construction activities. In addition, the Report offers an update of current construction projects and milestone events during the 2015 calendar year.

In the Report’s cover letter to citizens, ICBOC chairman Kathleen Bute highlighted two major financial transactions that occurred in May 2015, including the final sale of $24.5 million in Prop. G bonds and the refunding of $200 million in existing Prop. G bonds at a more favorable interest rate. “This refunding of existing bonds, similar to refinancing, will ultimately save the taxpayers in the District approximately $29 million in debt service payments over the life of the bonds,” wrote Bute.

Bute also wrote in the Report about an audit conducted in 2015 by independent auditors who returned with an “unqualified” opinion. “An unqualified opinion is the best audit result and indicates a clean bill of financial health with no deficiencies or inconsistencies in internal controls or compliance,” Bute said. “The audit results indicate meticulous management of taxpayer dollars and confidence of public trust.”

Among the construction highlights during 2015, the Report contains construction progress information about the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center (H&V), a new Central Energy Plant (CEP) and renovation of patient rooms on floors two through five of the seven-story East Tower building, originally constructed in 1974. The Report said the H&V building is scheduled for completion in mid-2016, which will be followed by its surgery floor build-out, a project planned for completion in 2018. The CEP with new emergency generators, boilers, chillers, cooling towers and auxiliary systems is expected to be fully operational later this year.

The ICBOC 2015 annual report is available at a publicly accessible website, via this link:

http://bit.ly/1XL6RcI. The GHD website, www.grossmonthealthcare.org, also houses all the citizen group’s bylaws, annual workplans, reports, memos, agendas, minutes and presentations from previous meetings.

Prop. G passed by more than 77 percent, well above the two-thirds required. The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue over the next few years.

The Grossmont Healthcare District, formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego's East Region. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each representing more than 500,000 people residing within San Diego East County’s 750 square miles. GHD, a public agency, serves as landlord of the hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers. The hospital is managed and operated by Sharp HealthCare under a lease agreement with GHD, which was extended by voters in 2014 for an additional 30 years. For more information about GHD, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.

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