Dispute over new hospital goes to Florida Supreme Court

A hospital taxing district in Volusia County wants the Florida Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that could block plans for a new hospital outside the district’s boundaries. 

The Halifax Hospital Medical Center taxing district filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court after Circuit Judge Christopher France last month said the district does not have the legal authority to issue bonds for the 96-bed hospital project in Deltona, according to documents posted Tuesday on the Supreme Court website. 

The taxing district is based in Daytona Beach, and the Deltona hospital is in western Volusia County, outside the district boundaries. 

In an April 17 ruling, France pointed to a law known as an enabling act and concluded that the district “does not have authority to issue bonds for the purpose of financing the planning, acquisition, construction, or installing of the proposed Deltona Hospital outside of its geographic district boundaries.” 

The notice of appeal, as is common, does not detail arguments the district will make to the Supreme Court. But in an interview Monday with The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Halifax Health CEO Jeff Feasel said the public hospital relied on four legal opinions, including opinions from inside and outside attorneys, before moving forward with the plans. 

“And we still believe we have the right to operate outside of the district. That’s why we’re appealing,” Feasel told the News-Journal.