El Paso County, Texas, commissioners last week gave preliminary approval for $162 million of certificates of obligation to build a series of outpatient clinics. A final vote is set for later this month.

The El Paso County Hospital District will use proceeds to build three primary health care facilities and expand one existing clinic.

The Hospital District will use some of the proceeds to renovate three floors of its University Medical Center.

District chief executive officer Jim Valenti said the clinics should relieve emergency-room congestion and waiting times by treating patients before their conditions become dire.

He said the clinics will cut overall expenses by $17 million a year and provide 450 new jobs.

The county’s $239 million of outstanding certificates of obligation are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

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