TGH fiscal-year funds on board's table

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Tuolumne County Administrator C. Brent Wallace will recommend a way to fill Tuolumne General Hospital's fiscal void at tomorrow's county Board of Supervisors meeting.

But as of Friday, he was still weighing options.

"I can't wait to hear what I have to say," Wallace said Friday.

Wallace said he planned to work over weekend on a way to help TGH out of its immediate financial crisis. Estimates are that TGH will need between $1 million and $2.7 million between now and the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Money problems are nothing new for the county-run hospital. Over the past six years, TGH has borrowed $6 million of county money and used $11 million of the county's general fund.

At the Feb. 11 board meeting, hospital Administrator Barry Woerman and his staff proposed a TGH financial recovery plan, listing 10 ideas they hope will cut costs or increase revenue. After action plans and timelines for each idea were added, the board approved the plan at its March 4 meeting.

Hospital officials, however, still estimate needing $1 million from the county for the rest of the fiscal year.

How much and where it will come from is what Wallace will discuss with the board tomorrow.

As of Friday, Wallace said he had not chosen which of three options he will recommend tomorrow but added that he can't offer an official proposal until both county and hospital staff members can agree how big the funding gap really is.

At the Feb. 11 board meeting, Deborah Russell, assistant county auditor-controller, disagreed with the hospital's $1 million shortfall estimate. After doing her own calculations, she said the hospital would need about $2.5 million to finish out the fiscal year. Wallace's calculations led him to believe the shortfall would be closer to $2.7 million.

County and hospital staff members have had several meetings over the number dispute, but have yet to resolve the discrepancies.

Also tomorrow, Wallace will hold the first of several budget study sessions.

The Union Democrat
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