FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Tarrant County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an order to call a bond election to authorize the issuance of $800 million in bonds to acquire, construct, improve, equip or enlarge facilities of the Tarrant County Hospital District, operating as the JPS Health Network.
The bond issue will appear on the November 6 ballot. The county said there would be no tax rate increase.
Proposed improvements include a new mental health and behavioral health hospital, a new main hospital tower, a new cancer center, four new regional health centers, and a new ambulatory surgical center.
“We have to understand that this is the beginning, and not the end, because buildings don’t solve problems,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Andy Nguyen. “It is the implementation of our health care plan and our mental health plan that will solve the problem.”
It is anticipated the bonds authorized by the election would be issued in several series over the next several years.
The prices, rates and maturities of each issuance will remain subject to the approval of the Commissioners Court.
“This is a day that has been a long time in coming, but that long time in coming was time well spent developing a good plan, developing a good community consensus, developing a knowledge of good sources of revenue, and developing discussions about an integrated health system for Tarrant County,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks. “All of this has been to the benefit of the citizens, tax payers, and the patients who use John Peter Smith Hospital.”