San Joaquin County supervisors Tuesday will reiterate to the state the dire situation the county general hospital is in and again ask for an emergency loan to keep the hospital's doors open.
Also Tuesday, the board is expected to approve a permanent contract with the long-time operators of the Foothill Sanitary Landfill near Linden and to allow the San Joaquin Council of Governments to spend more than $2 million to upgrade several county roads.
"We are owed $35 million behind," Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said. "We are afraid that the state and the federal government will never catch up. There's a fear (of the hospital closing down)."
Earlier this month, supervisors OK'd a county request by County Health Director Ken Cohen to ask the state for an emergency $30 million loan to compensate for a lack of money that was supposed to have come from the state.
Under a new plan for repaying hospitals for Medi-Care and Medi-Cal programs, individual hospitals are supposed to provide care and then bill the federal government. But because the federal government has not decided yet what is a billable expense, it has in essence frozen all repayments.
The hospital has had to borrow from the county general fund, and as a result, there will be a $1 million in interest. Last week Cohen said if the hospital is not given more money it could stop treating Medi-Cal patients altogether; or even worse, close altogether.
"We have received no response from the state," Ornellas said. "If we don't have some action in the next 50 days, we will have to take a serious look at what our next action should be."
Also Tuesday, supervisors are expected to approve a six-year contract with Foothill Sanitary, Inc. to provide service at the Foothill Sanitary Landfill, which is on North Waverly Road, eight miles east of Linden.
The landfill houses household, construction and agricultural waste, as well as tires and some appliances.
While Foothill, Inc. has operated the landfill since 1965, the county came close to dumping the company in favor of a cheaper contract with Bay Area firm Norcal Engineering and Construction Services Inc.
But last summer, county officials found out that Norcal was being investigated in San Jose for breaking or changing its contract with the city without approval.
"The board felt that Norcal couldn't address their concerns," Public Works Director Tom Flinn said.
That's when Foothill stepped up and offered to provide service on an interim basis on the same terms that Norcal originally proposed. This way, the county will save $253,000 over six months and would have saved $506,000 over a 12-month period.
To make sure it got a permanent contract, the company then offered an even lower price if the county offered it a permanent deal. Under the new deal, the county will save an additional $24,000 each year.
Flinn said that a six-year contract was reasonable, even though there will be adjustments every year to compensate for operating expenses.
Finally, assuming supervisors agree to put aside their differences about Measure K - a sales tax used to generate money for roads and other transportation projects - they are expected to approve the spending of Measure K to resurface streets near Tracy, Lodi and Stockton.
South of Tracy, Linne Road would be resurfaced between Tracy Boulevard and MacArthur Drive; as well as Chrisman Road between Durham Ferry and Linne roads. Near Lodi, Peltier Road would be resurfaced from Bruella to Elliot roads.
The Peltier project will cost $552,000, Linne $578,000, and Chrisman $626,000.
The total amount of Measure K money to be spent on all of the county projects is about $2,160,000.
Flinn said the construction projects were selected long ago, but the money has just now become available after the San Joaquin Council of Governments adjusted its federal and local accounts, freeing up more money for local road projects.
Chairman Dario Marenco has made it clear that he opposes anything related to Measure K because he does not like how the San Joaquin Council of Governments manages it.
If the spending is approved, SJCOG will begin the projects.