The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors has approved $75 million in Measure X money for a list of capital projects for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.
The board in November approved many of the recommendations from its Measure X task force — including $5 million for a 3,000 square-foot expansion of its psychiatric emergency services facility — but waited on many bigger projects until members could get more details.
Measure X is a half-cent sales tax approved by Contra Costa voters in 2020. The money began accruing in April, when the county’s Measure X advisory board began meeting.
The ballot measure’s purpose was keeping “Contra Costa’s regional hospital open and staffed, fund community health centers, emergency response, support critical safety-net services, invest in early childhood services, protect vulnerable populations, and for other essential county services.”
Supervisors on Dec. 14 approved spending $30 million to expand the center’s office complex by 40,000 square feet, $25 million for a new public health lab, $15 million on a new parking structure with 325 additional spaces, and $5 million to expand the hospital’s interventional radiology suite by 5,000 square feet.
District 4 supervisor Karen Mitchoff said she understood public concern over spending so much so soon, but these one-time expenditures would cost more down the road.
“The sooner we build something, the less expensive it is, and so this $75 million — while it will be spent out of Measure X funding — when Measure X funding comes in in future years, this expense will not be there,” Mitchoff said. “And so there will be the ability to fund programs that are next on the list of priorities.”
Measure X sales tax revenue is projected to be more than $238 million through the end of fiscal 2022-23. The county is withholding 20 percent of the money in a reserve fund.
The ballot measure will also provide money to re-open East County fire stations, spend more on youth centers in east and central counties, and provide another $5 million toward Contra Costa’s community crisis initiative.
During the first year of ongoing Measure X funding (April 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023) another $40 million will go to the medical center and $10 million toward the local housing trust fund, including funding for homeless housing and services. Other priorities include $4.5 million for wildfire mitigation, $3.5 million to re-open and staff other county fire stations, and $2.5 million for climate sustainability projects.