EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Over the last several months, UMC leaders have held dozens of community meetings to discuss the new multi million dollar UMC proposal petition.

“This is a very important project and we really hope that the outcome ends up being that in a couple of years we are going to have a cancer treatments center, a couple of years more capacity for ICU, all these other things that this project promises,” Stout said.

Later this morning, the County Commissioners court plans to issue the proposal to authorize the debt which will be repaid by property taxes. 

Advocacy Director of El Paso LIBRE, Karla Sierra initiated a petition to allow voters to decide whether UMC can use the debt to fund $345 Million dollars in hospital improvements. 

On Friday more than 25,000 signatures were submitted to the El Paso County Clerk’s office. Although president and CEO for the El Paso County hospital district, Jacob Cintron is aware of the petition, he says it can delay the process or stop the county clerk’s office.

The petition challenges UMC’s plan seeking authorization to non voter approved debt for project expansions. County commissioner David Stout of Precinct 2 says he’s hoping for a neighborhood healthcare clinic especially for the people in the central area. 

“Very concerned, with a lot of the missing information, it’s just really you know gas lighting that has been going on, on behalf of the opposition. Flyers and statements that are being made on these flyers that are being sent out to people to get them to sign a position. I think it’s unfair for folks to lie and to be dishonest about what this is,” Stout said.  

Cintron says UMC property taxes will go up 21% but because it is only 8 cents of the total tax dollar even with the increase putting it at less than 2%. 

With the city, the county, school district, community college, the tax revenue will be reduced by 2.3 cents this Fall. With a total of $18 Million dollars a year. 

As the petition drive is currently underway for $345.7 Million worth of certificates.

Cintron hopes there is time for the candidates to validate the signatures because they are making sure they are providing the care to the community from umc and texas tech. 

Adding that they are presenting facts and not the missing information that the community is receiving. Plus, UMC also created a website for the community to learn more about these changes click here.

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