Steamboat Springs South Routt Medical Center officials' plan to get a mill levy on the May 2 ballot has moved a step forward.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a resolution approving the center's service plan, which describes the formation and operation of a special district that would have the same boundaries as the South Routt School District.
Officials want to put a mill-levy question for the district on the ballot. The proposed property tax would equal about 2.1 mills. According to the plan, the mill levy would be spent on budget items such as staff salary, capital improvements, education projects, and medical supplies and medications.
The medical center, in downtown Oak Creek, is operating at a financial loss because of increasing costs and lower reimbursement rates, according to the service plan. The plan states that the center will close if the mill levy does not pass.
County commissioners have seen several versions of the service plan; they reviewed the final version Tuesday. The most recent changes were based on revisions commissioners requested last week. One of the revisions was a commissioners' decision that the more than 100 people who asked to be excluded from the district would not be excluded.
Commissioner Nancy Stah-oviak commended South Routt Medical Center officials for their work on the plan. Stahoviak said that because the center has been open for decades, there is a community need for it and community members are dedicated to keeping the center open.
Commissioner Doug Monger said he was comfortable with the modifications to the plan and that he was looking forward to seeing it move to the next phase.
The mill-levy proposal is not yet set as a ballot question. The next steps for proponents of the ballot question include getting signatures on a petition and having a district judge approve the specific ballot question.
"We're thrilled," said Sandy Stefano, the medical center's board secretary. "Now our real work begins."