Hearing set for S. Routt Medical Center | SteamboatToday.com

Hearing set for S. Routt Medical Center

What: Routt County Board of Commissioners hearing about the South Routt Medical Center

When: 10 a.m. Feb. 21

Where: Commissioners Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse Annex, 136 Sixth St.

South Routt Medical Center officials’ plan to get a mill levy on the May 2 ballot is moving forward.

On Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Com-mis-sion-ers voted to set a Feb. 21 public hearing to review and consider approval of the center’s health service plan, which recently was filed with the county clerk’s office.

The center, in downtown Oak Creek, is struggling to survive because its operating costs exceed its revenues. Linda Long, president of the center’s board, has said that operating costs have gone up because of low federal government reimbursements for Medicaid and Medicare users and the high number of patients who are underinsured or do not have insurance.

The center’s service plan proposes the formation of a special district, which would benefit from the 1-mill levy if voters approve it. The levy would raise residential property taxes by about $8 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The levy has not been ap–p-roved for the ballot. Fir-st, the center’s service plan must be approved.

Last week, commissioners approved a contract with the Joffit Group of Denver to review the viability and feasibility of the service plan. County officials expect the group to return its completed report Feb. 15, and a member of the group is expected to attend the Feb. 21 hearing.

The medical center’s board recently mailed a survey to South Routt post office box holders asking whether they would support the mill levy. Of the respondents, 304 supported the mill levy and 127 opposed it.

The center recently added a third full day of staffing; it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

— To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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