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Heffernan hospital board hoping RDA will forget the past and fund the future

June 07, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The Heffernan Memorial Hospital District trustees hope to take advantage of the recent largess of this city's Redevelopment Agency.

At their board meeting Wednesday in the Calexico Hospital building, the trustees' attorney, Eduardo Rivera of Calexcio, noted the grant the RDA board gave outright to developer Sam Jack of Indio on Tuesday.

District chairwoman Norma Apodaca said, "If they can give him (Jack) $350,000, maybe they can help us with our loan."

The RDA sued the hospital district earlier this year because the district had not paid off a 1997 $450,000 loan.

There has been no official comment from RDA board members concerning the loan.

But Apodaca hopes that its recent willingness to help a developer from Indio could increase the district's bargaining power.

"If they don't grant us the money maybe they could help us fix the air conditioning," Apodaca said.

As she said that, beads of sweat glistened on her lip from the heavy and warm air that filled the mostly vacant hospital building.


In other matters, Trustee David Ouzan showed a letter that Trustee Mark Perrone received from Robert Swerdling.

Swerdling is the financier from Minneapolis offering to restructure and refinance the district's 1996 bond debt.

In the letter, Swerdling provides an updated list of the prices he would charge for various services involved with selling the 2001 bond issuance.

Rivera informed Ouzan that the first resolution signed by the members of a joint powers authority locked in a specific rate Swerdling would charge for the 2001 bond issuance.

"To change that rate, a new resolution would have to be signed," Rivera said.

Ouzan, a member of the authority, said he will lobby the other three members to pass a new resolution to accept the new numbers.

Ouzan said the new fee structure knocks off $50,000 from Swerdling's original estimate.

The authority is made up of two members from the hospital district and two from the City Council.

The association was created in 1996 to manage and purchase the $9.35 million bond issuance.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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