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VOTE APPROVED ON SANTA PAULA HOSPITAL PLAN.

Byline: Angie Valencia-Martinez Staff Writer

VENTURA - Creditors of Santa Paula Memorial Hospital can vote on a debt-restructuring plan that would allow it to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, a judge has ruled.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robin Riblet has scheduled an April 6 hearing to confirm results of the vote, which requires a two-thirds majority in order to be approved.

``It's a very significant step,'' said Jay Michaelson, attorney representing the hospital. ``It doesn't mean it's going to happen.''

The plan details how the Santa Clara Valley hospital, which closed in 2003, intends to pay off roughly $13 million in debt.

It calls for Ventura County to pay $2.75 million for 13 acres and the hospital facility, which would be reopened in the fall as part of Ventura County Medical Center.

The remaining undeveloped 15.5 acres of the scenic hilltop site would be auctioned by March 15 to help pay off creditors. Comstock Homes of Manhattan Beach, Voit Development Co. of Woodland Hills and Centex Homes of Dallas are in the running to buy the land.

``That gives us a clear timeline to work with,'' said Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, whose district includes the shuttered hospital. ``It gives us the ability to go beyond the fix and look at when we could get hospital doors open.''

Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604

angie.valencia(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 11, 2005
Words:229
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