Construction workers make progress on the South Routt Medical Center's expansion project at its Oak Creek facility. An advisory group was formed recently after members of the public questioned the center's finances at a board meeting Monday.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Construction workers make progress on the South Routt Medical Center's expansion project at its Oak Creek facility. An advisory group was formed recently after members of the public questioned the center's finances at a board meeting Monday.

Advisory group formed to examine South Routt Medical Center's finances

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— At a South Routt Medical Center board meeting Monday, members of the public showed up to ask questions and gain more insight into the health of the center’s finances.

The medical center, which is supported by a property tax district in South Routt County, is in the process of an expansion project at its Oak Creek facility.

Rumors of imminent budget shortfalls brought out residents to what Oak Creek Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen described as a very well-attended meeting.

After an executive session where the public was not allowed, members of the board responded to questions from those in attendance, and eventually, an advisory group was formed to offer advice to the board.

The group includes Page-Allen, Oak Creek Town Board member Chuck Wisecup, David Bonfiglio and Linda Long.

South Routt Medical Center board members could not be reached for this article.

Bonfiglio said Friday that he, Wisecup and Long all had served previously on the medical center’s board and had been involved with the organization before it formed a tax district.

The members of the advisory group have received initial reports of the center’s finances, Bonfiglio said, with more detailed information expected in the next couple of days.

Bonfiglio said that, at first glance, he thinks any potential financial shortfalls are a short-term problem related to allocation issues during the construction project.

To his knowledge, no staff members have gone without pay at present time, and no regularly scheduled clinic days have been skipped.

However, the concern is that the center could be left with not enough money to meet payroll or purchase needed items in the near future.

“How real that is, is yet to be determined,” Bonfiglio said. It needs “more brains looking at the whole picture.”

The advisory group doesn’t yet have answers to how dire the issue is or what potential solutions could be, he said.

“I don’t think anyone has all the answers at this point,” Bonfiglio said.

The next meeting of the medical center’s board will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Oak Creek town offices. The center’s volunteer board also still needs a fifth member.

“Kudos to them to look to interested members of the community,” Page-Allen said about the formation of the advisory group.

The public is very committed to having the clinic continue to operate at its full potential going forward, Bonfiglio said. The advisory group members want to make sure the taxpayers are satisfied with what’s going on, that employees are being taken care of and that patients are being well served, he said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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Comments

Scott Wedel 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Everything about this story suggests the current board and management is bad.

They didn't disclose their financial issues to the public prior to the meeting.

They held a blatantly illegal executive session to discuss issues in secret that legally have to be discussed in public.

None of the board members are available for comment and they didn't release a statement.

I suggest that the advisory committee put the financial documents on the Town of Oak Creek website.

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