Santa Paula (Calif.) Memorial Hospital, which shut it doors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2003, could reopen within six months to eight months under a deal approved Tuesday by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. The deal calls for the county to acquire the 49-bed hospital's assets for $2.75 million and pay off its $14.7 million debt. In addition, 15.5 undeveloped, hospital-owned acres would be sold to a residential developer, generating up to $12 million for creditors. The bankruptcy court judge must approve the plan. Other parties still may submit competing plans. For example, the hospital's board of trustees has been considering a proposal from Kare Healthcare, Pasadena, Calif. Trustees have said Kare has plans for paying off creditors but have not released details. The county and board negotiated for several months to reopen the hospital, but talks stalled over financing and control. -- by Laura B. Benko
Calif. county may buy, reopen shuttered hospital
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