On Tuesday, Colorado Springs, Colo., voters will determine whether to allow the city to lease the Memorial Health System to the University of Colorado Health System. Here are the details.
* According to Great City Great Care , a coalition of community leaders -- including the mayor and city council leaders -- the 40-year lease would provide nearly $1.9 billion to the city, with $259 million up front and another $168 million in annual lease payments.
* The city would retain over $330 million in cash and assets to retire the outstanding Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) obligation for Memorial employees and pay off Memorial bonds and debt.
* The University of Colorado Health System has also committed to investing an average of $28 million per year in the Memorial Health System for a total of $1.1 billion in capital improvements.
* The plan would allow for the Colorado Springs branch of the University of Colorado to open a School of Medicine, which supports say would provide more jobs and economic investment in related health care businesses and technology.
* El Paso residents would hold seven of 11 seats for the operational board of the hospital, Great City Great Care stated.
* According to Stephen J. Collier, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Student Government President, in a guest editorial published last week by the Colorado Springs Gazette , the students of UCCS will benefit if the measure passes with the addition of a medical center to the university's Colorado Spring Branch.
* The annex would provide the opportunity for local students to perform their residency requirements and remain within the community, Collier stated. He added that the mayor recently reported that the 25-44-year-old population -- which makes up about a quarter of the city's total population is declining.
* Not everyone is in favor of the proposal. According to the website of Our City Our Care, a group opposing the measure, the lease agreement "allow for a Denver-based health system to rule" in the Colorado Springs community.
* Our City Our Care asserts that, if the measure is passed, current employees of Memorial could face layoffs and relocation and that positions may be combined or eliminated.
* The lease would make Memorial's 5,000 employees ineligible to contribute to PERA, the website states. PERA is the public pension fund for most state and school employees in Colorado.
* The election is being conducted by mail-in ballots. The city clerk began accepting ballots on Aug. 13 and will continue to do so until Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 7 pm.