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City council votes to remove itself from the health district

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Posted at 6:20 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 11:34:21-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Mayor Paulette Guajardo and the Corpus Christi City Council voted Tuesday to withdraw from the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

The city is required to give Nueces County 90 days' notice, per the contract with the county.

According to the city, the withdrawal will be effective January 18.

Guajardo says the city is redefining the public health system and the council's action is the first step in doing so.

City Manager Peter Zanoni says the City-County health district is about 40 years old and may have been the model about four decades ago but today that is no longer the case. He says he believes the city can provide better service at a lower cost.

"Corpus Christi will now be aligned with the seven largest cities in Texas by population by having an established city Health Department," according to a city release.

Zanoni says in the State of Texas there are only 15 health districts and those are primarily in rural settings. Those are areas in which it makes sense to join resources, he says.

"We feel that managing the health department in a city setting would be consistent with what we see across the state," Zanoni said.

He added that the council's action does not eliminate the district, the City of Corpus Christi is just withdrawing from the district.

Zanoni says that he doesn't see any interruption in service. Over the next 90 days, the city will develop a new business model, evaluate the programs and see which programs will continue, adding that many of the programs are likely to continue.

He says that if Nueces County needs more time to ramp up its programs, the city has offered to contract with the county to provide services.

Health District Cooperative Agmt 20090421 Original Restated

This is a developing story, stay with KRIS 6 News for updates.