Thursday, February 9, 2006
Steamboat Springs Routt County Commissioners have delayed until March 7 a public hearing about South Routt Medical Center officials' plan to place a mill levy on the May 2 ballot.
The commissioners voted Wednesday to move the public hearing about the center's plans from Feb. 21 to March 7.
During the hearing, commissioners will determine the feasibility of the center's service plan, which outlines intent for the formation and operation of a district that would have the same boundaries as the South Routt School District. Medical center officials are proposing a 2.1-mill levy to provide funding for the special district.
The meeting was moved because state law requires that residents receive a notice informing them that they can send a letter requesting exclusion from the district. Letters from residents requesting exclusion must be sent to commissioners 10 days before the hearing. If the hearing took place Feb. 21, residents' letters would be due today, said Tom Sullivan, county manager.
The South Routt Medical Center, in downtown Oak Creek, has been operating at a loss because of low Medicare, Medicaid and insurance reimbursements as well as having uninsured and underinsured patients, according to the center's service plan.
The levy is not yet set as a ballot item; the service plan first must be approved, and a judge will approve the ballot question and date. The March 7 hearing will give residents the opportunity to comment about whether they want to support the formation of a tax district and whether they are willing to pay a tax. Proceeds from the mill levy would be spent annually and would cover expenses such as salary for staff and medical providers, medical supplies and medications, capital improvements and education projects.
The medical center recently added a third day of staffing. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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