Commissioners approve $2.5 billion bond to be added to ballot for Harris Health improvements

Chaz Miller Image
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Voters to decide on $2.5 billion bond for Harris County Health System
Commissioners unanimously approved a $2.5 billion bond, which would help improve the Harris Health System, to be included on the ballot for voters.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A new trauma center at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, three community clinics for underserved areas, and other improvements to Harris County Health System facilities could be on the way if voters approve a $2.5 billion bond on Nov. 7.

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the bond's inclusion on the ballot during a special session Thursday morning in downtown Houston.

That $2.5 billion is part of a 12-year plan that would create that trauma center, make improvements to Ben Taub Hospital, and build three new clinics.

RELATED: Harris Health proposes new $2.5 billion bond proposal to improve wait times, lines at LBJ Hospital

Patients sitting in hallways, long wait times and the strain of the staff and space has LBJ Hospital the possible recipient of the bond that looks to revive and refresh the 34 year

A portion of Thursday's meeting included county budget director Daniel Ramos breaking down what it would mean to taxpayers should the bond pass.

"It will be less than $6 a month," he said of a household making $300,000 per year. "The lifetime cost (using that benchmark) of a 30-year bond is a little bit short of $3,000 per household."

Commissioners had many questions about how the bond would be used prior to approving it for the ballot, and one of those was to find out which projects would be prioritized should they come to fruition.

Harris Health System CEO Dr. Esmaeil Porsa said plans for a new LBJ Hospital have already been designed due to infrastructure issues, and they'd hope to break ground on it next April or May.

"Two years after that, our plan is to break ground on the first of the new clinics in Harris County," he went on to explain while emphasizing the plans are an endeavor that will take place over more than a decade.

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