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6 November 2007 at 7:59 a.m.
Your comments firmly identify who the ill-informed slob is. I guess there is your viewpoint, and then there are the ill-informed slobs who dare to differ. I would imagine that you have a higher than average number of cats.
Everyone vote your conscience - that is what it is all about.
29 August 2007 at 8:49 a.m.
I don't understand..If they don't have enough money to complete the new hospital why is construction still being done? Shouldn't they wait to see if they can get an increase in taxes to pay for it first or are they just going to build it and hope they can pay for it after its built? Someone please shed some light.
29 August 2007 at 11:11 a.m.
The work being done at the new hospital site will put in the infrastructure; water, sewer, main access road, curbs, etc. Generally this is refered to as Pre Construction work.
This project was funded thru a combination of TMH funds, CNCC donations, and a DOLA grant. This project only develops the site. It will be compete about the end of October 2007.
Getting the pre construction competed now will reduce the overall cost of a new hospital and shorten the time required to build a new hospital, as the work is completed and paid for.
The new hospital project will be decided upon by hospital board of trustees very soon. This will be next phase getting a new hospital for Craig & Moffat County.
Call me if you have questions or need more info, 826-3100.
George Rohrich, CEOThe Memorial Hospital
29 August 2007 at 12:06 p.m.
So water lines and roads will be put in and perhaps no hospital at all? We will just have roads leading no where?
30 August 2007 at 6:35 a.m.
Thank you for asking the questions that I'm sure a lot of people are wondering about. I'd like to make two points of clarification with regard to aforementioned infrastructure:
1. The Memorial Hospital is required as part of its agreement with CNCC to facilitate the pre-construction infrastructure in order to officially receive the deed for the land that CNCC has agreed to give the hospital. The bottom line is that TMH doesn't technically own the land until this phase of the project is completed.
2. CNCC will be building a new facility in the same general location in the very near future and will utilize the same infrastructure for their project. So, in a worst case scenario where a hospital is not immediately constructed, CNCC will still utilize the infrastructure.
If you have further questions that I can answer, please don't hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at 826-3109 or by email at email@example.com.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officer
30 August 2007 at 7:12 a.m.
Thank you for the clarification. I appreciate it.
30 August 2007 at 9:18 a.m.
Thank You George and Samantha. How many services are planned to go to the new facility. Once I read in the paper that, laundry, kitchen, some none medical(but still very needed) parts of the hospital were not planned for the new hospital, in the long run will that be cost effective. or am I all wrong on that.
30 August 2007 at 1:25 p.m.
In the past , a plan much like you described was considered. Many months ago when we started our master planning process, we decided to put that plan and all others aside and start anew based on the needs of the hospital and the community.
The newly approved plan puts most of the current services in the new facility with a few exceptions as follows:
1) The new hospital plan affords finished space for a new MRI. However, we will continue to use the existing MRI located in the clinic building on Yampa Avenue for two to three more years to maximize our investment in that equipment. Costs and damage risk associated with moving sensitive equipment such as an MRI outweigh the benefits of an immediate relocation.
2.) Physical Therapy services will remain in the Centennial Mall location.
3.) Valley Health Center, the clinic currently housed in the lower level of the hospital, will move to the new hospital site in the future. A clinic is not part of the new hospital project, but may be built simultaneously through a collaboration not yet finalized.
4.) IT services may be moved to the MRI clinic on Yampa Avenue to maximize the space in that facility.
The other services that you mentioned in your post will be located at the hospital site. We believe that the site plan is designed for maximum efficiencies.
If I can answer any other questions for you, please don't hesitate to re-post, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my direct line at 826-3109.
31 August 2007 at 7:05 a.m.
Thank You Samantha for replying here. Having listened to my co-workers, you have a tall hill to climb.I hope that the press gives you all the room you need. Everyone needs to hear the comments here and many more to come. Maybe you will need to do letters to the editor, as the readership here does seem limited. My co-workers and my spouse always read letters to the editor, as do I.With the school and hospital both asking for tax increases, it is a hard pill to swallow. Personally having attened Craig schools,(as did my children) I know they need constant upgrade, and I already plan to vote for that, but a hospital is also a good thing. I am at this point leaning towards it also. The information presented in the next few months will be critical if either is to pass.Good Luck
31 August 2007 at 7:21 a.m.
I appreciate your candid feedback and input. I think that education on any tax issue is critical.
Schools and hospitals are critical aspects of any community's infrastructure, and they are of paramount importance with respect to solid economic development. When business and industry is looking at a community to buy real estate, build facilities and relocate business, having solid education and healthcare are determining factors in a final decision.
There are a lot of pieces to the health care and education puzzle - strong facilities are a part of that and along with strong facilities, comes the ability to recruit and retain solid educators and medical professionals.
I look forward to your future questions as they arise.
31 August 2007 at 1:08 p.m.
I have not attended any of your public meetings in regards to the plans for the hospital. However, I heard on the radio yesterday that you plan to have 25 patient rooms with only a handfull to be used as private rooms. I think you should look into doing as Steamboat has done and another hospital I had to use recently will be doing and that is to make the majority of your rooms for one person use. I think it would be easier on the patient if they had their own room and not share with another because of visitors, certain types of care needed and plus when a person doesn't feel good, they don't really want to share a room with someone else who doesn't feel good.
It's just a thougth, but one I think you should consider. Having a room to myself without having to pay for a private room means alot to me and that is one of a few reasons why I would prefer at the moment, to go to Steamboat if need be.
31 August 2007 at 1:43 p.m.
Maybe I have lived in Craig to long to understand just how far $42 million can go these days, but it seems like a lot. My cousin works at YVMC and he said that its way more than Steamboat paid for their mansion on the hill. Are we trying to one-up them? Since we don't even know what it is going to look like how do we know how much it is going to cost? When built our house two years ago I know the type of house and plans determined if the same 2000 square feet was going to cost us $150,000 or $300,000. It seems like the planning is going on backwards. How much is the hospital borrowing for the new building? How much is 3 mills? Why don't they borrow $12 million and do a remodel on the building? It seems like the answer to health care in Moffat county isn't going to be solved by throwing money at the problem. I would rather they spend less on the building and get more doctors in hear than have a big castle and have no one to treat me. This new building is only going to cost $42 million but how much more will services cost after it's built?
31 August 2007 at 7:41 p.m.
You are correct that there will be a total of 25 rooms. However, the 25 rooms include 15 patient rooms and 10 emergency /procedure rooms. All of the rooms are private. According to current hospital building code, all new hospitals are required to build patient rooms with single occupancy - there will be no shared rooms. This probably was not communicated well enough for the first media story.
Please let me know if I can provide any further informaiton.Samantha JohnstonTMH, SEOsamantha.email@example.com(970) 826-3109
31 August 2007 at 7:57 p.m.
The price tag for the new hospital seems overwhelming at first glance. There are a couple of key things to keep in mind with regard to the overall cost:
1. There is absolutely no intent to one-up YVMC or to build a facility that rivals theirs in size and scope. The facility that will be built in Craig will be a replacement hospital. As the analogy has been made, this hopsital is not the Cadillac version, but your basic four-door Chevrolet version. The hospital will meet the current needs of Moffat County plus some potential growth. I will do some research and post as quickly as I can the costs associated with building YVMC 10 years ago.
2. The cost of building a new hospital today is roughly 40% more than it was several years ago when this project was first conceptualized. Unfortunately, materials and construction costs in Moffat County are substantially more than in other larger, less remote communities - it is a function of where we live.
3. The hospital currently receives .485 mils from taxpayers and is asking for an additional 2.515 mils to make an even 3 mil package. The total cost per mil is $20.70 per $100,000 of home value. The average cost of a home in Craig today is $145,597, so the total tax increase on that same home would be $30.13 per year. The average home value in the county is slightly less at $131,733, so the average tax increase on that value is $27.26 per year. Keep in mind also that the tax increase will sunset after the life of the construction project.
4. Several years ago, feasibility studies were done with regard to remodeling the current hospital facility. Unfortunately today, $12 million won't even begin to accomplish a remodel necessary to adequately update this hopsital, but beyond that, the City and County agreed that the hospital would need to find an alternate hospital site as expansion and rebuilding could not happen on the current site. Finally, the age of the hospital makes expensive and complicated a remodel. While the intact facility is operable today, tearing the structure completely apart would require asbestos abatement and other issues associated with aging buildings.
5. Finally, while TMH certainly anticicpates that healthcare costs will continue to rise, we know this to be true regardless of whether we have a new hospital. Prices will not be increased to afford the new facility. The revenue projections are extremely conservative and based upon current revenue volumes - not an expected increase. We anticipate revenue increases to be related to more patients using the hospital, not a higher cost of services.
I appreciate your willingness to ask the tough questions. I hope you continue to utilize this forum as a venue to educate others about this issue. If you have any further questions, please repost or feel free to call or email me directly.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence OfficerSamantha.Johnston@tmhcraig.org826-3109
1 September 2007 at 3:43 p.m.
I guess I am also conceerned with the hospital spending money when they don't even know if they have enough to finish the project. I am all about being an optomist, but if you spend a bunch of money on the streets and don't get the money to build, aren't you just wasting money? Also, I kinda follow the sentiment of the the Morning News the other day when they said it seems like too much stuff is treated like a secret when it comes to information from the hospital. It seems like this entire project is trying to be slipped in the back door. I know we have been talking about this for a long time, but atleast five years ago we were talking as a community and had community involvment, no it seems like the hospital is telling us what they are going to do, not asking us what can they do. At the midnight hour the hospital is coming in and telling us they need three mills or ???? how much money? How much is the hospital's current bond? Do they have a bond? If the hospital doesn't get the mills are they going to start the project anyways? will this force the coutny to vote for something they can't afford or want? My sister googled how much new small hospitals are costing in the west and it seems this one is coming in about 30% more. I don't think that it would cost $90 million to build the steamboat hospital either. Building materials and labor haven't trippled in the last ten years according to the receipts I keep in my garage for a bag of cement or a 2x4. I do think we need beter healthcare in the area, and I want to see a better facility, but I don't think doctors aren't comming here because the hospital isn't new, it's because of the isolation and pay. We need beter communication if you want the vote.
1 September 2007 at 5:32 p.m.
Keep in mind that the money being used for the infrastructure is money secured through a DOLA grant, which had to be utilized within a specific calendar year. I am happy to explain the DOLA funding in detail if you are not familiar, but this brought Moffat County dollars back to Moffat County.
The public information campaign is just beginning. Public meetings will be frequent and well-publicized. Rest assured that the hospital understands that it cannot “tell” the taxpayers what they are going to do, because the only possible way to build a new hospital is to get taxpayer buy-in.
The hospital does not currently have a bond. It currently receives .485 mils from the county and is asking for an additional 2.515 mils for a total of 3 mils. Currently, the .485 mils amounts to approximately $220,000 annually that taxpayers give to the hospital.
The construction project will not begin without the mil levy increase. There is no feasible way to afford the project without it. Several years ago, the old administration promised that tax dollars would not be needed to complete the project. That wasn't true then, and it's not true now. Without going into deep detail, the hospital doesn't operate on the same playing field as other for-profit businesses because of the charity care and Medicare reimbursements unique to this organization. The hospital rarely collects $1 on the $1, it is usually much less. So, it is remarkable that the hospital has turned the financials around enough to be able to afford 60% of the cost of a new hospital with the request of 40% help from the community.
As I promised in an earlier post, I will get some solid construction comparisons so that I can better explain how and why the costs are what they are.
Finally, you should know that the recruitment packages offered to incoming doctors are competitive with other hospitals. The reason that a doctor would practice in Craig, Colorado is no different than why you and I live here - it's a quality of life and a sense of community. The facility is a key part of that. I don't know if you have toured the hospital recently, but I would be happy to give you a tour if you'd like to arrange one. If you can see the facility first-hand, I think you will be able to appreciate the true necessity for larger procedure/operating rooms, better emergency room patient flow and the correction of many current deficiencies.
There is nothing to hide. The need is very real and I, along with CEO George Rohrich, or any other hospital manager, will be happy to talk to you, give you a tour, or share any information with you that will help you to make an informed decision about how to vote.
Please continue to voice your concerns and questions here and I will do my very best to promptly, accurately and truthfully provide answers. I assure you that I have nothing to hide.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officersamantha.firstname.lastname@example.org
3 September 2007 at 8:58 a.m.
Samantha, you've done a great job of answering our questions and I truely apperciate that.15 patient rooms doesn't sound like much, but then I can't come up with a figure in my mind as to how many the current building has. Are any of the new rooms ear marked for maternity use only? 10 for emergency/procdure rooms seems like alot to me also, but there again I am guess that these could be used for out patient surgery and so on??42 Millon does sound like alot and it could be your figting an up hill battle. Maybe we'd be more willing to vote yes if the school wasn't wanting more money at the same time. I think that double whammy is what has people worried. I just thought of another question and I don't know if you can answer it or not but am going to ask anyway. With all the current traffic on County Rd 7, when the traffic from the hospital gets added along with emergency vehicles, will there be a stop light put in at County Rd. 7 and 9th street??? I really think with the truck traffic, school buses and so on, the road needs to be widened and turning lanes put in along with a light, esp. when later on you start adding traffic from the collage. Do you have a design drawing yet of how the area should look when everything is said and done? It might be nice to see so some of us can get some things straight in our minds as to where the building will sit and what types of things will be done to the area for landscaping and so on. Maybe if you do have something like that and I'm sure there is a better term for it than “design drawing”, maybe you could put it up in the lobby of the hospital and let people see what it may look like and maybe even brief your volunteers who sit up from to help direct people so they can answer a few of the more basic questions?? Just a thought, but I think the more info you can give us the better informed we will be when it comes time to vote!!!
3 September 2007 at 11:04 a.m.
Thank you for your post. I made an error in my last post by indicating that there would be 15 patient beds - there will be 25. Thank you for catching that.Below is a breakdown of the key points with regard to patient rooms, etc.:Here is the Key Hospital Areas of the New Hospital:
1. There will be 25 acute hospital beds in private rooms w/private toilets and showers. These 25 rooms are allocated as follows:15 Medical/Surgical rooms4 Acuity Adaptable Beds, including 2 Isolation Rooms (These can be Special or Intensive Care when needed)2 Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum Rooms4 Postpartum/GYN Rooms
In addition, there will be: 10 Private ER Treatment Rooms (there are currently seven rooms)3 operating rooms5 Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Beds1 Endoscopic/Minor Procedure Room
With regard to the traffic on CR7, CDOT traffic engineers studied the traffic on CR7 with the hospital and college placement as part of the pre-construction work currently in progress. The intersection of CR7 & 9th did not require stop lights, but would require turn lanes. Regarding drawings, The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees just selected an project architect at the board meeting last Wednesday. Just selected the Architect to design the project. Execution of a contract with the architect and a timeline will be determined, but it is too early to know exaclty when we can expect drawings.However, the process we are using to determine what the hospital will look like is a much more thorough process than has been used in the past and the outcome should be very solid. I will post details as they take shape.
I understand the tricky timing of both new schools and a new hospital. In the end, it is my sincere hope that the shool district and the hospital can prove the true need for both projects and that taxpayers will feel like an investment in both is necessary and worthwhile. The need is real for both organizations and, as I stated in the newspaper, unless one project can wait for 25 years until the other one is completed, I don't see a reasonable way to avoid the overlap.
Thanks for the continued dialogue. As always, if I or CEO George Rohrich can be of any help at all, don't hesitate to contact one or both of us directly.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officer(970) 826-3109Samantha.Johnston@tmhcraig.org
4 September 2007 at 7:02 a.m.
As promised, following are some details with regard to construction costs, comparable facilities and the cost of doing business in Craig, Colorado:
1. Remember that the total hospital price tag is what we refer to as “all in” meaning that the $42.6 million figure includes building construction costs, site development, professional fees (architect, project manager, etc.), equipment, materials testing and site survey, miscellaneous costs (permits, etc.), financing and project contingency.
2. The construction costs alone for TMH are only $27.3 million, which is how I will compare our hospital project to other similar ones.
Following is detail specific to other 25-bed Critical Access Hospital building projects within the last three years:
Salida, Colo - 84,692 sq. ft. - $30 million (this is currently under construction)Yuma, Colo - 68,000 sq. ft. - $15.2 million (brand new)
Whitefish, MT - 82,000 sq. ft. - $17 million (just opened, under construction for past two years)Kellogg, ID - 63,000 sq. ft. - $14 millionKearney, NE - 155,000 sq. ft. - $46.5 millionDayton, TN - 75,470 sq. ft. - $18.8 millionBenton, KY - 77,600 sq. ft. - $21.5 millionGalene, IL - 94,000 sq. ft. - $25 million
Given that we know construction costs are 18-20% higher in Craig than in other areas within the country, our numbers shake out to be in the same range (in some cases bettter) than other hospitals of similar size and scope.
I hope that this helps to bring some perspective to the numbers and how we have arrived at them. If anyone is looking for more detail, let me know what you need and I'll find it.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officersamantha.email@example.com
5 September 2007 at 8:35 a.m.
Samantha, nice job on showing how much other hospitals have cost around the West. Is the balance of the 42.5 million in equipment? Is the new hospital going to have doctor's offices in it? Currently all the doctor's offices are on this side of town. Will any of them move to that side of town?
5 September 2007 at 11:49 a.m.
Globe:Below you will see a detail of what the total cost includes. The largest variable is, of course, the financing costs, but this is as accurate as we can be today without having closed on the loan yet.
Building Construction, including sitework: $27,315,000Professional Fees & Reimburseable Expenses: $3,288,000 (architects, engineers, interior designers, signage, kitchen, transition, etc.).Administrative & Legal: $105,000Material Testing: $100,000Medical Equipment: $3,572,000Furniture & Furnishings: $579,000Telecommunications System: $610,000Financing: $5,035,000Project Contingency: $2,039,000
As far as the doctor's offices: currently, there is space planned on the 15-acre site for a Medical Office Building. The MOB is not part of the projected $42.6 million. That project would likely take the form of a separate collaborative effort that has yet to be determined. When the MOB is built, the surgeons currently located in Valley Health Center in the basement of TMH would be relocated. Typically, an MOB situation would allow for area physicians to lease space within the building if they so choose.However, Moffat Family Clinic, Craig Medical Center and Kinder Family Clinic are all independently owned by area physicians and the relocation decision would be solely up to them.
I hope this helps.Let me know if you need further clarification on anything.
5 September 2007 at 2:47 p.m.
Thank You Samantha for your great work here. Part of my earlier post was, Is the Daily Press and Morning News going to allow you to put this information out to the general un-computorized public. I do Believe that at this point a new Hospital and a new School are investments in Craig, and the longer we wait the more they will cost. $42million is a scary figure, but I think you have researched and done a great job with the plans. I may drop in one day for one of your tours. Thanks again
5 September 2007 at 2:55 p.m.
All of the news media has done a good job of presenting our initial hospital information and I think we are in good shape to continue getting the word out.The Committee for a New Hospital will begin media advertising next week and I expect that we will continue to see pertinent news articles and radio broadcasts.
KRAI and the Craig Daily Press typically do question and answer sessions for election issues as well as a public forum where information is exchanged.
Continue to be on the lookout for all kinds of information - it's coming.
5 September 2007 at 6:14 p.m.
Sam, I for one am all for the new hospital being built. We definately need a new one. I will be voting for the new building this fall. The mill levy is a drop in the bucket over the next 20 years. Sam, the hospital is going to pay for what the mill levy doesn't is that right? Please help the voters understand that the hospital will be paying for the most of it.
5 September 2007 at 10:25 p.m.
You are correct, the current plan is based on the hospital paying for approximately 60% of the cost of the new building (through financing and operations) and the taxpayers paying for approximately 40% of the new building (through an increased mil levy).
If I can provide any further information, don't hesitate to ask.
7 September 2007 at 6:32 a.m.
The Moffat County Commissioners approved yesterday the language for the tax question that will appear on the ballot in November.
Most noticeably, we lengthened the term of the mil levy and I'd like to provide some explanation as to why.
Originally, we estimated repayment of the HUD loan to be about 25 years. We are limited by statute to a maximum loan term life of 40 years. Of concern to our attorneys, our hospital Board of Trustees and our County Commissioners was planning on a 25-year mil levy based on a 25-year loan. The potential exists that at some point during the loan, refinancing would be necessary and/or that HUD would ulimately decide to offer a loan term longer than 25 years. Because of these potentials, everyone involved felt like the safest way to proceed was two-fold:
1. To sunset the mil levy in 40 years and;2. To write a memorandum of understanding between the hospital Board of Trustees and the Moffat County Commissioners that would allow the commissioners to review the agreement in 25 years and to take action to discontinue the mil levy if the building construction project is paid in full prior to 40 years.
Of most concern to everyone involved was not putting the hospital in a position to get denied for a HUD loan. Should HUD make the decision to finance the project for 30 years, but the mil levy was only good for 25 years, it is possible that HUD would decide not to finance the project at all.
It would have been ideal to tie the length of the mil levy to the exact length of the loan once that was determined, but statute will not allow a mil levy tax to be tied to debt.
This is a complicated issue, so please feel free to request clarification. I will post the wording of the question shortly so everyone knows how it will appear on the ballot.
6 September 2007 at 10:06 a.m.
How is the hospital doing? Can the hospital afford to pay for the rest of it? Will you go get a loan? Will prices go up? I am a single working mother with two small children and I don't have insurance. I own my home but I'm not rich. I already can't afford an emergency room visit. If you raise your prices to pay for the new hospital it would really hurt.
6 September 2007 at 12:42 p.m.
The new hospital will be financed with a loan from HUD. The HUD loan is contingent on our ability to prove that we can make the scheduled loan payments over the next 30 to 40 years - so if HUD finances us, that is good assurance for our taxpayers that the finances of our organization are solid. TMH is in a financial position to make the necessary payments.
Rising healthcare costs is an issue Americans have been fighting for years. We do not plan to raise prices for hospital services to pay for the new facility. All of the revenue projections for the new hospital are based on current pricing and current patient volume. It is reasonable to say that healthcare costs will continue to increase annually across the board just as they do now, but there will be no increases for the purpose of paying for the hospital. Any revenue increases that we see are expected to come from more patients using hospital services, not higher prices.
I appreciate your questions and look forward to providing any further information that you might need.
7 September 2007 at 5:41 p.m.
Sam, So we are making tax decisions that impact my grandchildren? 40 years? I know everyone keeps saying that it will only cost $X for someone with an average priced house, but as a small business owner, my property (not including my home) is worth about $500,000. So now the impact is 3.5 times what the average person is paying. My business nets enough to hire two employees and added costs are not welcomed. What happened to the $20,000,000 and “no new taxes” I contributed to the hospital foundation because they told us the hospital wouldn't need a tax. If you get your tax, do I get my $500 back? All the news on CNN talks about cuts in medic-care and medic-aid and how the number of uninsured (that's most of us small business owners here in craig) is going up. How will the hospital pay its bills if no one is paying them?
7 September 2007 at 8:56 p.m.
I understand your concern. I am a taxpayer, too - I voted for CNCC and I voted for the fire district and I totally understand the implications of adding additional taxes to what I currently pay.
In answer to your question - yes, we are making decisions that we hope will positively impact our grandchildren and their children. In the case of the new hospital, it simply won't be feasible for the healthcare needs in Moffat County to do nothing, and certainly the decision cannot wait until years down the road. I think the real question for all of us is whether we believe that we need a new hospital and, if we don't need one now, then when will we need one? If that's five years from now, I'm not sure that the project will be possible then with the same dollars we can all come up with now. Afterall, just five short years ago, the cost of a replacement hospital was 40% less than it is today.
For your business, your taxes will increase approximately $300-$350 a year. I know that every dollar counts, so it is important that the voters have all of the information they need to determine whether they see a new hospital as a worthwhile investment in community infrastructure.
I am in tune with your point about Medicare and Medicaid and the rising number of uninsured. I am not prepared today to discuss exact numbers as our CFO is out of town until Monday, but what I can tell you from a general perspective is that TMH has an unusually high number of uninsured, Medicaid and Medicare patients already, which is not the case with all area hospitals. We will continue to provide service and manage our money in the most fiscal way possible. I will get back to you with some Medicaid and Medicare trend information just as soon as I can.
I hope you will continue to post here and ask the tough questions that are of concern to you. As always, I will do my best to give you prompt and thorough answers.
17 September 2007 at 9:52 a.m.
Globe and all:
With regard to Medicare and Medicaid:
Year to date, Medicare and Medicaid combined make up 59% of our inpatient admissions, and account for 43% of our revenues. That percentage is dropping a little bit each month due to the percentage of uninsured increasing, which is likely due to the large transient population becuase of energy and gas work.
The Medicare/Medicaid numbers are consistent with Critical Access Hospital standards.
I hope that provides the information you were looking for. Please feel free to call, email or post with other questions.
26 September 2007 at 7:12 a.m.
In response to a question we started dialogue about on the new school thread, I'd like to address how much the community is paying for a new hospital vs. what the hospital will pay.
Building a new hospital is very similar to buying a new house - if you buy a $200,000 home, you end up paying $600,000 by the time you are done with financing, interest, etc., but you don't say you bought a $600,000 home, you say you bought a $200,000 home.The hospital project is no different - the $42.6 million is the initial all-in costs before long-term financing. Over the course of 25-35 years, the total cost will be $88-$90 million (approximately) depending upon the interest rate we get at the time the loan is closed. I wish I could tell you exactly how many dollars it will cost, but the best I can do is approximate about 40% taxpayer, 60% TMH based on an interest rate of between 5.5% and 6.5%.I hope this helps. Let me know if I can provide any further detail.Sam
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officer(970) firstname.lastname@example.org
26 September 2007 at 10:23 p.m.
There seems to be some concerns about the mistakes that have happened in the past by previous hospital administration with regards to building a new hospital and the steps that our current administration are taking. Yes this is a new administration. Not just because they say so but because of the changes we can see at the hospital. They seem to walk the walk. I have seen a complete turn around in the quality at the hospital and am definitely in support of the mil levy. Healthcare and education are two of the biggest assets a community can offer. Craig is a great community and deserves the best of both of these!
27 September 2007 at 5:53 a.m.
Very well put LIttlemissI hope that the community at large sees the advantages for us and our children and grandkidsSamantha, I see you here alot, but not much in the paper yet. When do you put what is here, there?
28 September 2007 at 6:55 a.m.
Good point bigred1576! I would like to see the hospital start putting some other there claims in writing. Quick question, if the hospital budgets $42 million (I almost vomitted when I wrote that) and it ends up being $45 million who pays for that? The extra $3 million? Who will have to pay for that? Will it be the county? What happens if the hospital takes out a loan and can't pay it back? Do they get foreclosed on? Is the county and me (the tax payer) going to have to foot the bill if they can't pay back the loan? Just a few more questions that we haven't had answered yet.
28 September 2007 at 9:08 a.m.
Globe:All good questions. The hospital budget is $42.6 million and that is the maximum amount that the hospital can afford. The cost will not exceed that benchmark as dictated by our finances. If the mill levy is approved, then we moved forward as planned. If it is not, we revisit it again next year and we project a new price based on increases and ask the taxpayers to approve that.The way the financing is set up, the county and the taxpayers do not feel the financial burden if the hospital defaults on the loan. We will be insured on a federal level. Should we not be able to pay the loan, refinancing will be explored first and, as a last resort, a management company would step in and run the hospital until it was financially sound enough to repay the debt.As far as putting this information in the public - the hosital mill levy committee is running a factual ad each Wednesday with this information. In addition, we have testimonial ads about all different facets of hospital building running on Tuesday and Thursday. Radio advertisements are running multiple times per day everyday. You can expect to see a special supplement in the newspaper beginning Oct. 10 and it will publish four times. Also, a door-to-door campaign will begin next Tuesday whereby every resident will receive a copy of this information in print on their doorstep. Every Wednesday beginning next week will be live chats on KRAI about this information and public community group presentations are being conducted all over town. Let me know if you have other thoughts about how to get this word out.Thanks.Sam
28 September 2007 at 1:02 p.m.
I like the idea of a grass roots campaign. I think that the effort to build this new hospital has to come from not only hospital's staff and effort, but also from community members who want to get involved. Will you be organizing efforts with the community to get out and deliver flyers and teach people how to talk about the new hospital with their neighbors? Will you be engaging various community organizations and churchs in your efforts?
28 September 2007 at 2:55 p.m.
CindyLou:The hospital committee has involved community members who have voiced support for the initiative. In addition, some community members have been contacted to help provide direction and feedback on the campaign. The committee is making many presentations to organizations in the community and will continue to solicit the support of those entities.The committee is also hosting three public forums - Oct. 10 at noon and 6 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. at the fire station where the presentation will be shared with interested community members. I believe this will be publicized.Thanks,Sam
29 September 2007 at 10:18 a.m.
Can you tell us how much the tax's increased in Routt county when the new hospital was built in Steamboat?
29 September 2007 at 1:41 p.m.
xrsareus:Let me work on this information. I'm not sure what the details are off the top of my head, but I'll work on it Monday and post back here.Thanks,Sam
1 October 2007 at 10:43 a.m.
The front page said today that 800000 people in colorado don't have insurance. Does anyone know how many are in moffat county? We are getting ready to spend 45 million in our county for a new hospital. How many people could 45 million dollars insure in our county and how long could they be insured for that amount? Why do friends and family who don't have health insurance and can't afford an $800 emergency room visit keep getting sent to collection agencies?
3 October 2007 at 7:02 a.m.
Globe:Currently, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is compiling data about insured vs. uninsured in Moffat County. I will post this information for you as soon as it is available to me later this afternoon.
The theory about taking the money for a new hospital and helping to insure all of the Moffat County residents would certainly improve a large portion of the population's ability to pay for necessary healthcare, but if we don't build a new facility and expand our capabilities, we'll be funding our patients' experiences in hospitals across the state instead of the one here at home.
At TMH, only delinquent accounts are sent to collection agencies. These are accounts that stopped making payments as agreed to or do not respond to requests to work out a payment plan. Last year, TMH wrote off nearly $1.5 million incare provided where the patients would not pay for those services. TMH has a charity program which discounts our charges for care for people who will demonstrate that they are truly in need. Keep in mind also that the uninsured population is made up both of those who do not have health insurance through a corporate or other employer and those who choose not to have healthcare. I hope this helps. Let me know if I can answer further questions.Sam
3 October 2007 at 3:54 p.m.
Current statistics from the Bureau of Labor indicate that 24.5% of Moffat County's population is uninsured. This number includes an estimated 1,600 undocumented workers.
As an aside, the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthcare Reform is holding a regional hearing at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Holiday Inn in Craig. They are eager for public testimony and would love to hear any perspectives on healthcare reform.
If you want more information on the number of uninsured in the state, you might check out the following link:http://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/documents/PolicyBriefs/Uninsured.pdf
Let me know what else you need from me.Thanks,Sam
3 October 2007 at 4:22 p.m.
Samantha, Have any luck on the question I asked on the 29th?????
4 October 2007 at 6:53 a.m.
Not yet. I have requested information. Original information that I received from a YVMC employee doesn't jive with information that another individual shared with me this week. I have requested some things from them and as soon as I have that information, I'll post it here.I know that there were some very large private donations, but the rest of the financing is unclear to me. I'm sure I'll have something soon.Sam
4 October 2007 at 12:27 p.m.
What can you tell us about the steamboat hospital having to do major renovations and refinancing less than ten years after they built a new hospital. Is this being built into the hospital's plan? It seems to me that this is something that should be planned for and communicated to the community. Will the hospital need to take out another five million bucks to renovate the hospital when it is only ten years old too?
4 October 2007 at 3:12 p.m.
I contacted the Routt County Assessors office today. Accordingly, there are no mill levies or assessments in favor of Yampa Valley Medical Center. So, apparently they funded construction through profits from ongoing operations. Stan Hathhorn
4 October 2007 at 4:53 p.m.
Samantha, TMH has publicized that ballot initiative 1A will fund about $1.5million per year toward construction of a new hospital, and the funding will represent 40% of the debt repayment for that construction. It follows therefore that TMH will be responsible for 60% of the obligation or $2.25 million per year, to be paid from profits from ongoing operations. Is my assumption correct? Stan Hathhorn
4 October 2007 at 8:28 p.m.
xrsareus and Stan:
Stan is correct about the information with regard to Yampa Valley Medical Center. Original emails I received indicated that there was a tax initiative years ago for YVMC, but what I discovered is similar to what Stan discovered, private donations and cash flow made possible the YVMC project 10 years ago.
Stan:With regard to your question, I will get the projections at my office in the morning and email you exactly what we expect our annual payment to be.
5 October 2007 at 12:28 p.m.
Stan and all:At this point, it is impossible to lock TMH into an annual repayment dollar amount there are still variables that would have a significant impact on the annual payment. Those variables include financing (we are looking at 5.5% - 6.5%, but nothing is certain until we close the loan) and the long-term depreciation of the building and equipment. The way the we have figured 40% taxpayer/60% TMH financing is based on a loan amount of $42.6 million and a projected total project cost of approximately $88 million. We anticipate $1.4 million annually coming from the mill levy, which over the anticipated 25 year term of the loan comes to $35 million, or 39.7% of the total project cost.
One benefit of a Critical Access Hospital is our ability to realize increased reimbursements based on our increased costs specifically, our proposed capital project. The building project itself increases our costs, which means that we will receive higher Medicare-based reimbursements than we currently receive. These depreciation benefits will last for 12-15 years, and have a tremendously positive impact of the amount of revenue we receive from Medicare and Medicaid, which currently accounts for 43% of our operational income. I am hesitant to lock TMH into an annual repayment amount, because at this point the interest rate is not locked in. So, our bottom line today may not reflect the dollar amount necessary to make the payments, but the contributing factors will make payments possible. We have preliminary determination that the project is feasible from outside financial counsel, and of course this is contingent on the proposed taxpayer support. If we are fortunate enough that the voters decide this levy is in the best interest of the community, the final determination of whether or not the Hospital project is feasible will eventually rest with the analysts in Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the investment houses that issue the debt.
If you are asking “Can TMH afford the cost of the New Hospital Project?', the answer is “Yes!'. TMH had an outside evaluation of our ability to afford this project, which validated our belief that we can, in fact, afford the annual payments with the support of county through the Mill Levy. As part of our HUD application, we will again be required to have this proven by an outside auditing firm. This report is called a Feasibility Study and is a comprehensive analysis of our ability to afford this project.
6 October 2007 at 10:25 a.m.
I am planning on voting for the hospital levy, but Stan brings up a good point. It was my understanding that the hospital has lost money every year for the last three or four years. If they are loosing money now, how do they afford to pay 2 million in new payments? I hope that with a new hospital more people will stop going to steamboat and junction, but my husband and i need to see specialists and they just aren't in craig. Also, the article in the paper about the hospital insuring everyone in craig is rediculous.
7 October 2007 at 11:20 a.m.
Thanks Samantha for the information. Now you have my curiosity up: On 9/4/07, earlier in this discussion you compared the costs of other hospitals that where or are being built in the area. Here is my question, Did any of these hospitals go for a tax increase? Where they successful?
8 October 2007 at 6:42 a.m.
CindyLou:I'm not sure if you saw my above post about repayment of the hospital loan - there are two posts in a row from me that explain how the hospital's CAH status will allow us to increase revenues once we build the new building. Plus, TMH had an outside auditing firm conduct a feasibility study, which is required for the HUD application process, and it was determined that we could afford the hospital that we are now pitching to the community.If the mill levy is successful and we move forward wtih financing, this feasiblity study will be reviewed again by an outside auditing company. We simply can't get financing if it isn't feasible, so we've done our homework to that end for sure.As far as the articles in the paper about insuring the county - there's no doubt that is a noble idea, the problem is that I think some of our readers are confusing two separate but real issues - a need for a new hospital and American healthcare reform.Thanks,Sam
8 October 2007 at 1:01 p.m.
Samantha, I understand how the hospital will receive enhanced revenue from the fed based on peceived cost attributable to the depreciation of a new facility. I believe that you said in a recent public meeting that hospital revenue is based on a flat-line projection. I assume that to mean the level of business is not expected to grow, but because of “critical access” status TMH will receive additional revenue from the fed for the same procedure or service as other hospitals perform for a lesser amount. Based on TMH projections, what is the yearly amount of that additional revenue for the three years following the completion of the new facility? Thanks, Stan Hathhorn
9 October 2007 at 5:41 a.m.
Samantha, Thanks for the response to my inquiry regarding the allocation of the 40/60 funding split. I find it strange that you cannot identify the approximate yearly cost for the 60% liability of TMH, given that you have identified the all in cost of about $88 million. The rest is math. Your figures for the portion to be funded from initiative 1A are $1.4 million per year for 25 years or about $35 million. The ballot language allows $1.5 million per year and, based on the rapid growth of the energy industry, that figure will soon be realized. What you don't say is that 1A has a minimum life of 40 years, or simply put, bout $60 million in revenue, which is actually more than 68% of the project not 40%' It appears there are some fundamental problems with the wording of ballot initiative 1A: 1) The money collected from taxpayers is not restricted to debt repayment of the hospital as most citizens believe. I may be spent on anything. 2) Because of the nebulous wording it appears that 1A can extend in perpetuity without an identified beneficiary after 40 years. 3) Apparently initiative 1A releases all obligations to Tabor and the 5.5% limitation, forever! Again, because of the wording, I can imagine some future politico construing that release as county wide. I suspect that hospital officials and, for that matter, school officials count on the premise that people will vote their emotions on 1A & 3A and will not comprehend the language of the ballot. Any rational informed voter would perceive 1A as deceitful, and 3A is even worse. It appears that 3A provides a perpetual blank check, future school boards may impose any levy they see fit. In conclusion, I don't see any reason why either of these issues can't wait another year. Then, present ballot issues to include wording that ensure that funds will only be spent for debt repayment and the issues sunset on a definite date or sooner if the debt is paid early. As presented 1A and 3A are disrespectful to the intelligence of taxpayers. Stan Hathhorn
9 October 2007 at 10:04 a.m.
I appreciate your willingness to candidly express your opinion about both 1A and 3A. I wish that all of your statements were accurate.
First of all, I would like to correct the errors in your post. You indicate that 1A has a “minimum life of 40 years,” which is absolutely incorrect. By law, 1A can be supported with a mill levy for a “maximum” of 40 years. You ask the specific question about why we don't say that 1A has a potential life of 40 years. The question clearly states that and, in a supplement that appears in the Craig Daily Press and the mail tomorrow (not to mention the Tabor Notice), the ballot question is not only spelled out, but the line specific to a maximum life of 40 years is highlighted in blue and several paragraphs are dedicated to full explanation of the 40 years. There is nothing to hide in the wording of the question. Because we are a county-funded hospital, we must follow laws not imposed on other entities.
I am certain that you must also be aware that it is not legal to tie a mill levy increase to long-term debt or debt of any kind, so your point about how the money will be spent is also not accurate. The original intent of the hospital board was to tie the mill levy increase to the length of the loan or about 25 years. The ballot wording as discussed and agreed upon by both county and hospital attorneys must say that the mill levy will be used for operations. Obviously, the hospital will not be able to make the project payment if the money is not restricted to payment of the debt. Your second point about 1A extending into perpetuity is not only incorrect, but such perpetuity is illegal 40 years is the maximum.
You may not be aware that a Joint Resolution was signed between the county and the hospital to put into writing the hospital's intent to end the mill levy tax as soon as the debt is retired. The 40-year sunset allows for refinancing if necessary and allows HUD to visit other financing options that may be longer than 25 years. We expect a debt of 25-30 years but we cannot be sure until we have closed the loan. The Joint Resolution spells out in writing the intent of the hospital to end the tax the minute the project is completed. The county's stake in this is oversight of this promise and initiation of actions to stop collection of the dedicated 3 mills at such a time as there is no longer project debt.(continued in below post - I ran out of characters for this one).
9 October 2007 at 10:08 a.m.
Stan:(continued from above):
It is offensive to our organization and absolutely offensive to the thousands of Moffat County residents who are smarter than to make an emotional decision about the hospital that you would even suggest such. There is nothing emotional about bricks and mortar. What we are asking taxpayers to approve is a capital construction project to protect important infrastructure in Moffat County and to provide a facility in which to continue an excellent standard of healthcare in the valley.
Despite our repeated, consistent and frequent attempts to engage you in a personal meeting about these issues, you refuse one-on-one communication. You have been invited to lunch, called on the telephone and invited to participate in community focus groups, yet you refuse to do so. The offer still stands we have nothing to hide as evidenced by our compliance with your every record request. We are happy to share with you feasibility studies and anything else that you are any other person wants to see.
There is no conspiracy theory it's Finance 101 until the loan is closed, there is no way to give you an exact dollar figure. We can approximate all day long, but in fairness to our taxpayers, what we are asking taxpayers for won't change, so why give them preliminary loan numbers only to have them change over and over as financing is resolved? You have been a businessman, property owner and resident of Moffat County long enough to know that waiting another year for the hospital and the school district means millions of additional dollars in construction costs and the project parameters won't change. Sure, a year from now we can rehash the same questions over and over, but the project won't change and neither will our need for a mill levy increase. I can't speak on behalf of the schools, but common sense tells me they are in the same boat next year is another day late and another dollar short. Knowing today that we must replace our aging facility would make waiting an additional year financially irresponsible. We'll go back to the taxpayers next year to ask for 3 mills again for a hospital facility that may well cost $46 million instead of $42 million.
9 October 2007 at 10:09 a.m.
Stan (last continuation from above):
It is my sincere hope that I can provide you with the information that you need to make your decision about whether to support this important healthcare project. It is also my sincere hope that we won't use this forum to muddy the waters with information that is inaccurate and designed to spark skepticism for those who haven't made a decision about the hospital project. I wholeheartedly support looking at important issues with a critical eye as a member of the news media for many years, it's in my blood to be skeptical about everything. But I also know that facts speak for themselves. Any information that you or anyone else wants is out there. And, as always, I am more than willing to meet with you or anyone at any time.
Samantha JohnstonTMH, Service Excellence Officer(970) 826-3109Samantha.email@example.com
9 October 2007 at 12:43 p.m.
Samantha: Thank you for your candid and pointed response to Mr. Hathhorn. It appears, as in past critical issues, he has misstated the actual facts about an issue. One can only wonder if he continues to do so, using the ruse of “community activist” or if it is he who is making decisions based on emotion? While the hospital issue is a difficult one, you have continued to clearly and concisely state the case for voting yes and you should be applauded for attempting to engage criticism, even that which is misstated and false. The need is overwhelming; the plan is solid and a “YES” vote is needed. One can only wonder if Mr. Hathhorn, now that his “facts” have been shown to be false, will continue with the inaccuracies or join you in solving a most pressing public health issue in our community. What be it, Stan?
10 October 2007 at 12:22 p.m.
SamI have been keeping up with the discussions in this thread and am greatly appreciative of the candor and information presented in your responses. I just wish they could be printed in the paper so as to reach a wider readership. I think the community as a whole, in addition to the forum participants, could benefit from the questions asked and information presented here. That aside, the main reason for this post was to ask a couple of questions.1) Has the hospital done any kind of feasibility study to find out what would it take, how much would it cost and how efficient would it be to revamp/remodel/modernize the existing facility? And if a remodel were feasible, how much, if any, of the hospital would have to be closed during construction, thereby cutting back or eliminating services for a time?2) Given the age of the building, would there be an issue with hazardous subsances/toxins that were used during construction and would be released during a remodel?My inner voice is telling me it will be less expensive and more efficient to construct a new facility with an eye to the future, and with the way the price of everything keeps going up(not just here, but nation-wide), it would be better to do so sooner rather than later. My inner voice also makes me wonder, what would happen if the existing facility were to be remodeled, and hazardous materials were found and subsequently released into the air? Would the hospital have to be closed during cleanup? That would leave us with no local place to go for any kind of care, let alone emergent care. To my mind, that's not a viable option. These are just my thoughts, I look forward to hearing yours.
10 October 2007 at 4 p.m.
I'm hearing your advice and we'll respond with information in the paper. We did have a supplement that appeared today in the Craig Daily Press and will also appear Friday and Saturday packed with information.
As far as your specific questions:
1. TMH has researched multiple ways to upgrade our facilities remodeling, new construction, etc. You are correct it is not feasible to work with the facility that we currently have for a variety of reasons including: a.) there is no room for ground-level expansion with the current facility. Many of the issues that the new building will address related directly to the limitations of space in our emergency room, operating rooms and patient rooms. The only way to improve these areas is to make them larger and/or private, but there is no feasible way to do that in the current building, b.) the current structure is not structurally sound enough to accommodate upward construction, so we cannot add a second story to the building, c.) there are definite safety issues with regard to major renovation including the potential for major asbestos abatement, which affects the HVAC systems in the building and would require that all of the hospital facility be shut down for several months until renovations are complete and air quality can be guaranteed not to mention that upgrading the structure still won't allow us to find the new room that we need for growth.
2. You are absolutely correct that the most financially responsible course of action is to bite the bullet and invest in a new building that will meet requirements and is built to accommodate growth. The plans for a new building include expansion options on three sides, making inevitable future growth much easier to accommodate.
3. If the hospital were to be renovated, the quality of the air and ventilation systems would be compromised and the hospital would need to be temporarily shut down while construction and remodel was completed. Our plant operations department estimates this project to be three to four months. TMH has 166 employees, so the employee impact and economic impact would be monstrous. Every day, TMH provides an average of 650 distinct services to many tens of patients. When you put things in this perspective, it makes even more obvious the amount of services, revenue and time out of Moffat County that people spend when they go elsewhere. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts they are right on target with why the hospital is recommending replacement as the most responsible option. The bottom line is that the oldest part of the current facility is nearly 60 years old and we have added on to the hospital so many times that it is a logistical nightmare. If you or anyone you know is interested in a building tour, I'm more than happy to arrange one at your convenience.
TMH, Service Excellence Officer
11 October 2007 at 7:05 a.m.
SamWhat happens to the current hospital, after you have moved out? Is the plan to try and sell it, give it to VNA or some other doctors? Will TMH be held liable for any clean up that has to be done now or in the future?I did not get a wednesday paper, so I didnt see the info, but all along I have encouraged you to put all the info in the paper, for wider viewing.Thanks for your dedication on this project, and responding to the posts here.
13 October 2007 at 1:25 p.m.
11 October 2007 at 2:34 p.m.
Could you post a list of where the $42 million is going. How much goes to the the hospital, how much for machines, etc. I can't seem to find it on this thread.
11 October 2007 at 3:37 p.m.
Hospital administration is actively working toward possible uses for the current hospital if we are able to build a new facility. The hospital Board of Trustees and Moffat County Commissioners will meet for a series of workshops in the coming weeks to discuss the legalities and process by which a county-owned asset can be sold, leased, etc. As of last week, the Visiting Nurse Association wrote a formal letter of interest in pursuing the potential purchase or lease of the facility for expansion of the Aging Well programs. Although nothing is final, this is one viable option. It is also possible that the property could be sold to an outside party. All options will be explored.
The major clean-up costs associated with this hospital would likely be related to asbestos abatement or demolition of certain unsalvageable parts of the building. If these issue were to occur, it would likely be at the expense of the new property owner as TMH has no plans to undertake such projects. It is important, however, to remember that TMH is a county facility, so the Moffat County Commissioners will have a say in all of the decisions.
I hope that helps there are still a number of unknowns with regard to this piece. If the mill levy passes, the useage of the current facility will become a priority for everyone involved. I think you can certainly expect that this will be a very publicly visible process.
11 October 2007 at 3:39 p.m.
CindyLou:Below you will see a detail of what the total cost includes. The largest variable is, of course, the financing costs, but this is as accurate as we can be today without having closed on the loan yet.
Let me know if you need more information.Thanks,Sam
11 October 2007 at 4:48 p.m.
To the average homeowner in Craig. This Mill Levey vote is asking for only pennies a day. In good conscience how can one not vote to improve the health care for pennies a day
12 October 2007 at 5:15 a.m.
I get sooooo tired of hearing how little a particular proposed tax will “add” to your propertax base. Over a period of time the continual “adds” create an ever increasing burden to the home/property owner. I can understand government involvement in the education of our children, but hospitals have always been the responsibility of the private sector. I for one don't want government involved in my health care (have you been to the DMV lately?) The only hope you have to limiting the size of government is to stop funding them!
12 October 2007 at 6:44 a.m.
Nimrod:I don't think that your position is unlike many others with respect to increasing taxes and limiting government involvement in private practice.But I do believe that Moffat County has always been a place where the community takes care of its own and where the community- when given all of the information they need - has shown that it has an interest in ensuring positive growth and ensuring a viable economic and social infrastructure in the future.There would be nothing better than a Moffat County hospital that could pave its own way and fund its own capital projects and I think that we are on the path to that if we can get some community help to boost us in that direction. In its current shape, there is no way our hospital can afford to do anything other than continue to Band-Aid an already bad situation. If you haven't read George Rohrich's letter to the editor today, please do so as it talks about what TMH will encounter if we can't build a new facility. This is very non-threatening - it just is the way things are, so the public will have to use this information to make personal choices based on the need they do or don't see.The reasons we need help are many, but a large part of where we struggle as a county hospital is in our reimbursements, which you probably know are nothing like the private sector. Until we can provide a facility where specialists can practice, we'll never be able to create the strong revenue streams we want and need.Hope this provides some insight. If there is any more information that I can provide, don't hesitate to ask.Thanks,Sam
13 October 2007 at 10:53 a.m.
Pat:It's no secret that the Top 10 taxpayers in Moffat County pay approximately 68% of the taxes collected.If the 3 mills had been in place in 2006, the Top 10 Taxpayers would have paid $875,461 of the $1,254,298 collected. So in 2007, the Top 10 Taxpayers would pay approximately $966,774.As a point of record, the Top 10 taxpayers are as follows:Tri-StateWexproColowyo/KennecottChevronPacificorp-ElectricSalt River Project (Power Plant)Western Gas ResourcesTrapper Mining IncPublic ServiceWhiting Petroleum
I understand Stan's point about waiting another year to see if the hospital has enough money to pay for the project. I can assure you, though, that waiting one more year will produce the same results with a bigger price tag. We know today that we cannot afford to build without taxpayer support.One thing that I don't think those of you who are drilling down into the financials are accounting for is the ability TMH will have to take advantage of depreciation on the capital project, which is a benefit we are afforded because of our Critical Access Status. So, the depreciation incentives we will realize are how we will supplement the mill levy and operations to make the payment. We are happy to provide this information to you if you would like to see it.The hospital can afford the project - it has been sliced and diced many ways by independent auditing firms.
Finally, as far as blueprints, what exactly are you asking and I'll try to provide the information you need?
12 October 2007 at 9:23 a.m.
Earlier Native was talking about where cut backs could be made, How about those trips to the Steamboat Hospital to see Dr. and have surgery? A family is going to wrack up a few miles and gas running there to see you. I have done it, only because the surgeons that come to Craig also work and Practice in Steamboat. When you need surgery, you go to where the Dr. is most comfortable and has the best equipment. Hopefully with the newest Hospital in the area we will have the most up-to-date equipment, therefore bringing others here. Is this true Samantha, New Equipment? I have had surgeries in both Craig and Steamboat, the staff here (in Craig) seemed more freindly and Efficiant. I will be voting in favor of a new hospital. and a couple less Diet Pepsi's wont hurt me any.
12 October 2007 at 10:37 a.m.
What is the $5,000,000 in financing and $2,000,000 in contingencies made up of? These two items seem to make up about 20% of the whole project.
12 October 2007 at 11:51 a.m.
bigrred:You are correct that some new equipment will be a part of the new hospital package. We are planning to purchase about $3.5 million in new equipment. We already have some excellent equipment, too such as our new CT scanner , which offers the best technology in the valley.You are absolutely correct in that valley doctors can perform more surgeries and procedures in a newer facility. For example, Dr. Fabian who currently does back surgery in Steamboat can perform those same surgeries in Craig if we are able to provide him with larger surgical suites. Dr. Fabian simply cannot do the surgeries in our substandard operating rooms.Thanks for continuing to ask questions.Sam
12 October 2007 at 12:24 p.m.
CindyLou:Below is a projection of how the financing costs will break down:Capitalized Interest $1,635,356Debt Issuance Costs $1,893,493HUD Mtg Insurance $713,610Finance Contingency Fee $792,900Total $5,035,359
Depending on many variables that won't be set in stone until we close the loan, the above numbers will change, but it gives you a picture of what is wrapped into that finance number.
All projects have a contingency cost that is a percentage of construction costs and is designed to cover potential increases in material costs, labor costs, weather issues, or any number of unforseen issues in a large-scale construction project. If the contingency is not needed, the funding is released back to the organization a highly rare occurrence, which is why projects are always budgeted with a contingency.
Let me know if you need more.Thanks,Sam
12 October 2007 at 3:02 p.m.
When this tax request passes, what is the expected starting date and approximate date for moving in?Mine have not been back surgeries, (thank heaven), but a Dr, from the same office did some shoulder work on me.. once in Steamboat, once in Craig. Is the CT scanner a new one, or the one housed in the medical clinic on Yamp Ave. I have been in it also, Twice.
12 October 2007 at 3:24 p.m.
bigrred:Actually, the CT scanner is different than the machine you are talking about. The MRI machine is located in the clinic on Yampa Avenue. The CT scanner is new this year and is housed in the hospital.The estimated completion date is 18 - 24 months, so the project would likely be completed in early 2009. Thanks,Sam
12 October 2007 at 3:44 p.m.
yes, I have CT and MRI mixed up, thanks
13 October 2007 at 10:03 a.m.
Sam,Thanks for providing insight into why we will end up with another Justice Center fiasco. I also wonder how much the hosptial board has spent for preliminary work for blueprints. I don't like the wording of the initiative because it allows money (that 1.5 Million) used for operating and capital improvements. I think Stan has a good idea to wait another year to make sure the hospital has enough $$ to pay for this new hospital. Also, where does the hospital post the money received from the county? Income Revenue? I don't think the county can afford this new hospital but then again, I just a taxpayer who is tired of all these mill levies. You never post what the largest property owners will be paying for all of this — just the residential, and most of the people don't realize that all the business costs will filter down to them also.Patricia Mc Caffrey
13 October 2007 at 11:12 a.m.
Thanks for the information. Do we have blueprints for this project? How much did they cost? Are they current or are we starting at square one again. Please explain how using depreciation incentives will help with cash flow? Unless I forgot Economics 201 and Accounting 301 (required for my Degree), that is not income, just postings. Maybe we need a private hospital rather than one that depends upon taxpayers to foot the bill. Thanks for letting me know the largest taxpayers, as a stockholder of two of those, I can contact them. What is the avergage Ag, Commerical/Industrial taxpayers will required to pay annually?Thanks for your prompt reponses….Patt Mc Caffrey
13 October 2007 at 12:40 p.m.
What happens to our medicare payments when they get rid of the critical access hospital payment plan? If you google it you see that they started it back in the 90s to help keep certain hospitals from going out of business. Many of the web sites say that it costs medicare too much money and will go away in less than ten years because so many small hospitals are building new ones and medicare is paying for it. How will the hospital make its payments if this happens?
13 October 2007 at 1:38 p.m.
Samantha, In my post of 10/8/07 (2:01pm), I requested info regarding the projected amount of enhanced revenue attributable to “Critical Access Status” for the three years following opening of a new facility. In your post of 10/13/07 (11:53am) regarding Critical Access status you state, “we are happy to provide information to you if you would like to see it”. Yet, the info I requested has not been forthcoming. Please respond. Stan Hathhorn
13 October 2007 at 4:47 p.m.
Pat:Under the CAH program, Medicare pays TMH for health care services provided to Medicare beneficiaries based on the Medicare allowable cost to provide those services. Much of the depreciation expense for a new hospital is an allowable cost, which results in a larger payment from Medicare for the same services we provide today. In effect, a new hospital will be partially paid for by Medicare with funding specifically intended to help hospitals such as ours build new replacement facilities. These dollars can help pay for a new hospital in Craig or will be used in other communities. As a side note, There people's Medicare benefits are not changed as result of this project.Also as a point of clarification, if your concern is that this project will end up cost Moffat County taxpayers more in the end if we cannot make the payment and default, the answer is that this will not be a burden that the taxpayers shoulder from a perspective of having to bail the hospital out. We have insurance and default protection for this very purpose.I am not sure about the blueprints for the new facility. I will have to see what costs have been incurred to date. However, the board just voted a few weeks ago to hire an architectural firm, so this process isn't very far along.Commercial property values will increase an average of $87 per $100,000 of property value. The assessor's office cannot provide a blanket increase for agriculture because there are so many variables depending on use, etc. However, Jennifer Riley in the assessor's office said any ag property owner can call her and she'll give them figures based on their respective properties.Sam
13 October 2007 at 4:52 p.m.
Stan:The information you requested is not one exact figure. We have spreadsheets that reflect all of this information in detail. I know you are familiar with requesting documents through Barry Bergman, TMH Chief Financial Officer and I believe we have provided all documentation for each of your requests to date. We are happy to provide any further information if you can request exactly what you want - you can call Barry Bergman to make your requests as he is the one with the best access to all of this information.As we drill deeper into the financials, they are not as simple for me to cut and paste onto this forum - at least not formatted in a way that anyone can understand them.If you need something more from me, feel free to contact me through any of the channels listed below. I will respond.Thanks,Sam
15 October 2007 at 10:58 a.m.
DepreciationDepreciation Benefits:The use of depreciation affects the financial statements and in some countries the taxes of companies and individuals. The recording of depreciation will cause an expense to be recognized, thereby lowering stated profits on the income statement, while the net value of the asset (the portion of the historical cost of the asset that remains to provide future value to the company) will decline on the balance sheet. Depreciation reported for accounting and tax purposes may differ substantially. Depreciation and its related concept, amortization (generally, the depreciation of intangible assets), are non-cash expenses. Neither depreciation nor amortization will directly affect the cash flow of a company, as both are accounting representations of expenses attributable to a given period. So explain again, how the hospital will benefit from Medicare and it's payments for a new hospital. Seems like a flim flam since the hospital isn't making money or income to support the new hospital. Some of the taxpayers will be dead long before this mill levy is finally sunseted. Or else, the board will come back for additional funds. Revenue attributable to “Critical Access Status” to paraphrase seems to be like subsidy, sort of like being paid not to farm. I think having a hospital in Moffat County is very good, but not at the costs you are asking for us to supplement. Privatization might be the best solution to the problem. Let the stockholders pay for the new hospital, and if no one will take the hook, maybe the feasibility study wasn't as viable as some of the Board members thought at the presentation. Patt Mc Caffrey
15 October 2007 at 11:56 a.m.
They can't come back for an increased mill levy, 3 mils is the statutory limit, otherwise they would have asked for more. Based on my knowledge of TMH financial performance over the last several years, it looks worse than sqeaky. More on that later.
15 October 2007 at 12:09 p.m.
To All. It should be easy to sell this project to the average homeowner, pennies a day you say. And all the citizens that don't own taxable property have no stake at all. The agriculture sector pays only about 2% of all taxes. Industry then pays the bills. It's easy to burden industry with additional taxes, they virtually have no votes. I am a small player in the commercial sector, but if 1A & 3A pass, my tax bill will increase more than $2600 per year or more than $100,000 over the term, all for two facilities I will never use! More than a pack of cigarette isn't it? For a contribution of that magnitude I should have a personalized cornerstone in both buildings. Stan Hathhorn
15 October 2007 at 2:32 p.m.
Just some thoughts from someone who likes to GOOGLE.
Taxes are no fun and I can understand from previous posts that nobody wants them. When they are all added up they can amount to a lot of money. While I don't want my taxes to go up either it just seems like it is a necessary evil in this case. Keep in mind that this hospital is a county owned hospital. The county took on this roll a number of years ago (50+), just like most counties in the West. More hospitals in the Western U.S. are county owned than private owned or non profit. Just south of us Rio Blanco citizens contibute over a million bucks a year just for one of it's two hospitals and I believe over $2.5 million between the two of them (They have hospital districts down there).
Unlike the hospital in Meeker, TMH has a critical access status which does allow it to have a slightly better payment system from Medicare (most studies around 2000 suggested that becoming critical access increased gross margin percentage from -1% up to between +1.5% to +3% on the average rural hospital — I think that is the difference between choosing to pay your power bill or buy food) The hospital can recognize the a portion of both depreciation and interest as an actual cost when they deal with Medicare. Not just this hospital, but all small hospitals that are organized as a critical access hospital. Seems weird, but that's how its been set up. When Medicare was first established back in the 60s it was cost based reimbursement. Into the early 80s a lot of hospitals expanded due to the fact that everyone was reimbursed based on cost (All had an incentive to build it bigger). Then they shut down cost based reimbursement in 83 and started paying hospitals under a different system. During the late 80s and early 90s a lot of small hospitals went out of business. Then in the late 90s they reintroduced cost based reimbursement for small hospitals because too many were going under (Hundreds closed their doors — See OBRA 1997). What it has done is allowed a lot of small hospitals to use this payment system to fund new hospitals (literally hundreds across the country have been built because of this). However, some seem to think that it is getting out of control and is starting to be a burden on Medicare and will have to be modified or eliminated at some point in the future (maybe ten years out — Medicare likes to reinvent it self about every 15 years or so (1965, 1983, 1997, 20??).
On a positive note however, as revenue continues to go up for the hospital (I guess as property value goes up too) the payment the hospital makes on their debt will continue to be a smaller and smaller portion of their total revenue and a smaller and smaller portion of their total expenses (Like my folk's house payment of $300 was tough to make in 78 but by 98 it was less than their car payment). More than likely if any Medicare reform does take place, small hospital who built new facilities will be grandfathered in so they will be able to get reimbursed for their expenses of building a new facility. At any rate, I think the window of opportunity for small hospitals to take advantage of added reimbursement from a new facility is getting smaller and smaller. Waiting to build until next year possibly narrows that window even more.
15 October 2007 at 4:36 p.m.
I think the whole Medicare needs to be reviewed at the Federal level, and at the local level, I think this hospital will be just like the Justice Center fiasco. The hospital will have to use those operating funds from the mill levy (which should have been only for Capital improvements rather than a sneaky move by their lawyers) just to make the payments. And I agree that Stan will need to have a personalized cornerstones at both buildings. Too bad the Board and CEO can't see through the smoke and mirrors and realize that Moffat County can't afford this mill levy for 40 years. Seems like the government trough will be crowded again.Patt Mc Caffrey
15 October 2007 at 4:51 p.m.
Also, when you pay on your house, you can always sell it and take the profits — doesn't work that way with the hosptial — they will want a bigger and better one before the mill levy has finished the forty years! Isn't that a little crazy for a county of 14,000 citizens? Maybe the Board or Founddation could sell bricks or Commemorative inscription plaques to pay for the hospital.
15 October 2007 at 5:44 p.m.
Samantha, I have requested twice, info regarding the amount by year of enhanced revenueTMH might receive due to CAS for the three years following construction of a new hospital. There has been no response. So, do you agree with Altitude Adjustment that the range is a negative 1% to a + 3%? Altitude seems to be well informed. Thanks, Stan Hathhorn
15 October 2007 at 7:53 p.m.
Stan:You have received a response from me at least twice indicating that you are welcome to request all of the information above through our formal request process, but that I am not going to post many 10s of spreadsheets on this web site in a format that is not easily understandable. In addition, I am not going to pull pieces and parts of the spreadsheets out and post them here to be misconstrued when they are not a part of the bigger picture. You know the process by which to acquire information from the hospital as you have done this many times. Pat is welcome to the same process. This is not the right venue to post financials as it doesn't allow for Excel spreadsheets, etc. and there is not enough room to post adequate explanations.I will post a response to Pat's questions with regard to blueprints as soon as I have all of the information gathered.Thanks,Sam
16 October 2007 at 6:02 a.m.
It seems to me that Stan and Pat are working in colusion here! Stan has a record of being against any public project and it looks like he's dragging Pat along with him. I hope the readers of this thread have caught on to this and don't fall for it or get wrapped up in their negativity. Looks like Stan just doesn't want to pay taxes! Sam: great response to Stans repeated efforts to drag this thread down to an arguement over information. You have been more than forthcoming and Stan, if you really want the information, pack your happy *** up to the hospital and get it. Or is there some reason you don't want to go face to face?
This community NEEDS a new hospital and I don't want to see some pot stirring Johny come latelies destroy what has taken years to put together. Vote YES on the new hospital
16 October 2007 at 7:52 a.m.
I had fully intended not to comment on these boards, but feel totally compelled to do so!!
Sam, I commend you on the very professional and positive manner to which you are answering each and every question! Good job!!
Stan, I would like to point out a fact that you should have learned by now, that is never say never! i sincerely hope that neither you or any family member ever have a medical emergency, but the sad fact is that more than likely at some point you or a family member may very well find yourself in need of immediate medical attention and just where do you think you will end up??
Also, you may not have a need for a better school, but you and I both employ younger people that are and will be having children (another need for a new hospital and doctors) and will be putting their children into our school district!
I know how difficult it can be to attract qualified employees and I can not help but feel that an improved hospital and stronger school district will only help in attracting and keeping qualified help.
Yes, I hate to see what my business property taxes will be, but it is a necessary evil that we must do, if we want a better city for us all, we all do deserve to pass both initiatives!!
16 October 2007 at 8:30 a.m.
My apologies that it took three days to respond to your request about dollars spent on blueprints. I had to research whether TMH actually got to the blueprint phase in previous years.
To date, TMH has spent $0.00 on blueprints. We never got to the blueprint phase with the hospital project in previous years and we are not yet in the blueprint phase of the current project.
We have set up a number of critical checkpoints in the current process to ensure that there are not unnecessary cash outlays too early in the game. We need to know whether the mill levy is approved in order to know whether we can proceed to the blueprint phase of the project. If the mill levy is not approved, there is no point in charging forward with plans.
I hope this answers your questions.Thanks,Sam
16 October 2007 at 11:17 a.m.
Thanks for the information on the blueprints as I given inaccurate information, and I appreciate knowing the facts.
16 October 2007 at 11:42 a.m.
Great job Samantha, Thanks for you responces.Vote Yes on 1A and 3A, They are needed to keep our community in the 21st century
18 October 2007 at 4:16 p.m.
It is a smooth slick way to sell the public, “It's for the children” “It's for the Community” they say, but what it really is for is to cover up the fact that the administration of the both the school district and the hospital have failed to plan for the capital expenditures which they want buy today.
These are businesses, government run business, but business none the less, and as with any business there should be in place a capital expenditure plan which includes all maintenance and the replacement costs of the facilities that are associated with the business. Both 1A and 3A are requests to remove the property owners tax limitation protection so that taxes in excess of a 5.5 percent increase can be collected. What both these “government business organizations” are telling us is that the senior management in both of those organizations have failed to plan correctly for the maintenance and replacement of the facilities that have been entrusted to them.
In the case of the school district, I have been informed by former school district maintenance employees that there is nothing maintenance wise that cannot be repaired or corrected at minimal cost compared to the replacement costs of the middle school currently being requested by the school district management. Sixty year old buildings should not need to be replaced. Properly maintained structurally sound buildings can be used and upgraded for more than a hundred of years. Nobody is talking about replacing the Colorado State Capital building are they? If sixty years is the useful life of a building then most of the houses in Moffat County, including mine, need to be torn down and replaced. Not likely! It only seems that when someone else is going to pay for it that replacing a building is a good idea. Which appears to be the case for the school district and the hospital.
Renters need to be aware of the fact that any tax increase that is added to the landlord's cost of the rented home or business they occupy will be directly passed on to them in a form of a rent increase. The owners of the property you are renting have a business plan and the cost of doing business when it comes to tax increases on rental property do not include paying your share of those expenses. So don't think that the “rich landlord” is going to pay for it, you will pay through the nose too. When the property taxes go up on a business the price of everything the consumer purchases has to be adjusted up and guess where you fit in? That's right, you pay there too! This is bad news I know, but the fact is the school district and the hospital need to make better capital improvement plans with the monies they already get from the taxpayers, which is all of us the renters and owners!
18 October 2007 at 4:23 p.m.
I don't know why but the first paragraph of my comment was cut off. this is how my post was to start.
Those Moffat County bond issues, 1A and 3A appear to me to be just another political move to get the voters to vote to remove the tax protections that have kept the taxes low in Moffat County. Every single one of the jurisdictions in Colorado that have waived the 5.5 percent limitation on tax increases have been hit with larger and larger tax increases on their property.
21 October 2007 at 9:47 a.m.
The CDP Saturday front page states” $72.1 milion in tax questions posed to voters”, they forgot the interest. It may well be about $117 million in total. Small matter? NO! Stan Hathhorn
22 October 2007 at 11:42 a.m.
Opps, they just forgot to tell us that! Thanks for pointing it out Stan, and everyone is going to pay, landlords renters consumers at the checkout line, everyone. I noticed that no one has come forward to deny that this (1A), and 3A remove the tax protections we currently have and that after that “they”, the powers that be, can start raising taxes when they want without asking the taxed. How nice, they will not have to bother us with the details anymore.
If you think you have a hard time paying your bills now just wait til the value of your 1,500 square foot residence is assessed at half a million dollars? How are your children going to pay for these taxes? After all “It's for the Children” right? It's for a new hospital so the town can grow, right? Do you want the town to grow on the backs of your children and grandchildren or do you want the hospital and school management to come up with fiscally responsible business plans that take into account replacement costs and maintenance of the facilities we have already entrusted to their management?
22 October 2007 at 4:22 p.m.
Samantha, On 10/09/07, you wrote that I had been invited to attend a focus group and had been extended an invitation to lunch. You also stated “we have nothing to hide as evidenced by our compliance with your every record request”. Not so!
The following request was presented on 1/13/05 and 8/29/07: “Please provide a copy of financing commitment for the new hospital and /or most recent correspondence with HUD or any other financing provider regarding same”. The response from Randy Phelps in January 2005 was a blowoff but laughable,” there has been no correspondence with HUD or any other lender”. (you all remember the rhetoric, we will break ground this spring or early fall, with HUD financing) Meanwhile the hospital board was silent. My August request was met with an invitation to lunch, and after several requests for documents, another blowoff. My view was , and is, documents first and lunch later.
On 9/26/07, I submitted the following Open Records Request: “Please provide a copy of the journal entries transferring a $272,785.96 DOLA grant to 'other non operating revenue' “. That grant appeared to be a reimbursement for a dedicated capital expenditure not revenue, which made an otherwise losing month appear profitable.
On 10/01/07 I received, from Barry Bergman, CFO, the following response: ” I have received your records request for journal entries dated September 26, 2007. I am respectfully declining this request based on legal counsel. Journal entries as well as individual balances within financial report classifications are considered work product and exempt from the open records act as defined in 24-72-202(c)(ll)&(lll)”.
Samantha, what's to hide?
Oh, yes I was invited to attend a Hospital focus group meeting. There were two meetings. I was to be contacted later as to which meeting would be convenient for me. That contact never happened. Stan Hathhorn
22 October 2007 at 5:02 p.m.
Forum: a medium (as a newspaper) of open discussion or expression of ideas. Websters definition.
22 October 2007 at 7:04 p.m.
What is so important about this information? Would it pursuade people to vote another way.
Can an executive, director, or managing employee claim eemption under- 24-72-202 (6.5).? I thought it had to come from a government official — In this case a county commissioner. Appeal to the commissioners for your request. They can choose to give it to you or not. If they feel it would impede open discussion then they have legitimate grounds to deny you access under chapter 72. But they can also choose to provide that to you if they want. They don't have to deny you access.
22 October 2007 at 8:44 p.m.
Samantha, We all know your history as a journalist, and your connection to the Craig Daily Press. Everything “fair and balanced”. Yet, you use this forum to promote your political agenda regarding TMH and chastise those with an opposing view. My question is, do you receive compensation for your officership as “TMH, Service Excellence Officer” from TMH or any other source? Stan Hathhorn
23 October 2007 at 3:12 a.m.
This is a NO VOTE for me as well as all my other homeowner friends. There is a quiet rebellion against public financing of this hospital mostly because it won't add additional beds (so what's the point)? Furthermore, lack of professionals to come work here is another issue. I know, you tell us if we build it they will come. Where is the proof of this? We have a major doctor and nurse shortage in this country. because of government interference.
If the hospital administration would quit taking government funds and quit being ran by the government things might be different. They charge the maximum for everything because of government interfering.
Also, the failure of this Federal Administration to secure our borders has put the cost of health care to illegals in our county on the tax payers of the state. Hosiptals are closing around the country because they can't afford to operate any longer because of this issue. Our illegal population has grown from zero a few years ago to thousands…..I don't think so.
Our government announced last week that our social security checks and MediCare payments will quit in approximately 7 years, (give Allard & Salazar a call).
On top of that, if one doesn't have insurance, one can not afford to use this “public paid” hospital.
Until these projects are paid for equally, across the board, say a 1% county consumption tax across the board, I will continue to promote the NO VOTE.
btw, the school. Everyone in the free world knows that remodels cost twice as much as new construction. I will pay for a brand new school but no way for a remodel. I'm promoting a no vote on this also.
It's obvious our locals learn from our failed Federal Government policies of doing things bass ackwards. Again, an across the board consumption tax (we could have really cleaned up with all the oil and gas workers in town).
23 October 2007 at 10:47 a.m.
Like our surrounding countryside, this thread has turned to mud! Of course Sam gets paid for her work! Stan, what are you thinking? Unlike you, there are folks who have to work for a living and not rely on the work of others to make them money. And taxlave is just mad at government, so let's take it out on the hospital! If you don't like taxes, the idea of a 1% “consuption tax” is absurd. Who is going to pay that? Yep, the good tax paying citizens who pay our taxes right now. Not the illegals, which you seem to target as they are a drain. Yes they are but DON'T hold the hospital responsible for that, too. I hope who ever reads this thread sees through the red herrings being thrown at this project. In it's simplest form this hospital question will help provide a quality public health facility for moffat county that we just simply don't have at this time. Vote YES!!!!
23 October 2007 at 12:53 p.m.
Consumption taxes are paid by everyone - “sales tax”. That means for gas, food, etc. Anytime you or anyone else, legal or illegal, spends a dime in the county we collect. Think of how much we could have already been collecting in the bars around town. They too may need our hospital.
This is a major issue on the presidential campaign ballot this year, fair tax for everyone, we should get on board with this theory and take a step towards it.
I believe the hospital initiative is going to fail in it's current state. The hospital is a “For Profit” business whos profits are not shared with the people.
If the hospital wants our money to build it they should have to pay us back with interest. Is anyone out there aware of what is going on in this nation? The “Credit Crunch”, dollar falling below 78 cents? Our economy is in major trouble right now whether you see it or not. Moffat county is fortunate at the moment since Halliburton has been unleased on the country. (We should be collecting money from all of this). We could be collecting consumption taxes for 3 years from these workers and then readjusted the loan amount against that.
btw, I'm not mad at anyone, just realistic.
23 October 2007 at 3:59 p.m.
Actually our hospital is owned by the citizens of this county. You own it, I own it, the family in Mabel and Dinosuar own it. Regardless of whether it makes money or not, it is owned by the County. The County took on this responsibility many, many years ago. I
23 October 2007 at 4:21 p.m.
To be clear, and I believe this is what AltitudeAdjustment was pointing out, TMH is not a “for profit” organization. We are a “non-profit” organization, which means that any profits we make must be reinvested into the company. There are no “owners” who receive profits based on the success of our operations.Our “owners” are the citizens of Moffat County and we are a county hospital.Thanks,Sam
24 October 2007 at 4:29 a.m.
If we're the owners of the hospital, why is it that we can't afford to use it? Unless one has insurance they are haunted by collection agencies until they file for backruptsy.
24 October 2007 at 6:33 a.m.
Taxslave:While I cannot speak to what may or may not have happened in the past, I can tell you that today our hospital treats the uninsured our underinsured with dignity when it comes to hospital bills.Our current billing department works with every individual or family to set up payment plans that meet the needs of the family. We honor our payment plans. We do not send accounts to collections unless they refuse to make any sort of payments or refuse to acknowledge the bills that are sent to them.I think you will find that a change in administration has prompted a very positive change in this particular part of our hospital process.Thanks,Sam
24 October 2007 at 1:47 p.m.
They should have budgeted properly for capital expenditures but they did not and now don't have the money to replace the facilities (??? They say need to be replaced???), (Hospital and Schools) and it is not the tax payers' fault. If you want something new pay for it yourself. Don't make others pay for the things they don't want or cannot afford. There are those in this community who do not want and/or cannot afford to have their money taken from them for these projects.
I for one don't see why anyone should endorse poor management practices by taking money from others and giving it to people who have already demonstrated they cannot budget for capital improvements.
The biggest sticking point for me is that both these bond issues strip everyone of the tax protection that have kept the taxes low. true or not samantha? Nobody who is promoting these bond issues wants to admit that voting yes on these issues will take away the TABOR tax limitation protections and what that will do to everybody including the elderly and young families who are just starting out.
Have you ever seen someone loose their home because they could not pay their property taxes? I have, and the sight of it made me sick. The couple were elderly and from that day I knew there was something wrong with the way those in government finance things when it puts old folks out on the street. Some people will be forced from their homes if these issues pass. Not immediately, it may take several months or years, but it will happen. The increases in tax will be just enough to drive some people over the edge. Don't worry about it as long as you have a good paying job, it will only happen to you after you retire, cannot work anymore, or if your employer, or your spouse's employer cuts back or goes out of business. Better start thinking now about acquiring a job that is more secure, you know like with a government funded hospital, government schools, or other government agency that takes money from all the people to pay it's employees.
Then if someone looses their home at least it won't be you, at least until you retire!
24 October 2007 at 4:38 p.m.
Although I think the service at the hospital has gotten better in the last few years, I found working with their business people has become much more difficult in the last year. My friends and neighbors all agree that if you have questions on your bill or if you are late on a payment you get sent to collections or have to work with people who don't have any answers when I call. My sister was sent to collections over a $10.00 bill last month.
24 October 2007 at 6:27 p.m.
Samantha & all, There is a reason that many Moffat County graduates cannot pass the literacy requirements for entry level employment at Tri-State. There is also a compelling reason for the mass exodus to Steamboat for healthcare. Believe me, it has nothing to do with the buildings that our children are educated in , or the hospital facilities. You all are missing the obvious.
What is there to attract the best doctors when there is an apparent shortage. Why would they come here? We don't have anything near high end dining, and a decent wine list, well?? Maybe it's time to face the truth, Craig is a poor relation to the Steamboat lifestyle.
So, will new buildings change any of that? I think not. Stan Hathhorn
25 October 2007 at 11:23 a.m.
So let me get this right: Since we live in Moffat County, the poor bastard child of the valley, we should not be entitled to a quality health care facility and sound school buildings, like they are in Steamboat? I think it is Stan who is missing the obvious. That being that a comminity, such as Craig, can be an equal to Steamboat IF we can muster the pride, energy and determination to make our comminity better. Both the hospital and schools play a pivotal role in quality of life. Stan, you can just give up if you want and keep our end of the valley second rate, if you want, but many of us won't!!! Let's do something, positive, for a change and make Craig better than it was when we were growing up here. Vote YES!!!
PS: Nice slap in the face, Stan, to all the MCHS grads who keep a multi-million dollar power plant running, without fail. Cheap shot indeed but not totally unexpected.
25 October 2007 at 12:45 p.m.
It was a Tri-State official that complained about the quality of job applicants that were a product of MCHS. He did so in the pages of The Daily Press, I didn't make it up. I noticed your spelling of community in your post, dare I ask, are you a graduate of…..?? Never mind.On another note, neither the phone book or the tax roles list “Silentman”, do you have another name? Stan Hathhorn
25 October 2007 at 2:32 p.m.
Samantha could you please answer the following two questions, 1. Does the bond issue 1A strip the TABOR property tax protection that limits the increase in taxes to 5.5 % per year?
And, 2. Once that 5.5% limit is removed it is gone, gone, gone, and the larger tax increases can start, is that correct?
25 October 2007 at 2:51 p.m.
oldsage, I believeTabor is a constitutional amendment that limits tax increases without a vote of the people. The 5.5% limitation is a Colorado Revised Staute that limits growth to 5.5% over the previous year. My interpretation is 1A removes both, and 3A is worded so that after the school improvements are satisfied the school board is free to levy any tax rate they see fit. Stan Hathhorn
25 October 2007 at 4:22 p.m.
native & silentman (anonymous of course)
I have no affinity for Steamboat Springs or the attendant lifestyle. I enjoy their restaurants in the off season, but avoid them during ski season.Otherwise, I spend no money in their community.
I do bring to Craig, and Moffat County, a $1.5 million payroll, another $1.5 million in local purchases and provide full payment for health care benefits for my employees at a cost in excess of $200,000 annually. My employees are an asset to TMH and the local medical community as they can pay their way, no welfare here!
You claim that Steamboat can afford a hospital because it has a ski hill. Yes, that hill is what makes Steamboat and the vibrant downtown. But, it is the perceived quality of life that attracts the medical professionals that many from Craig seek out.
Let's be realistic, we can't provide that perceived quality. Besides, Yampa Valley Medical Center has a dominant market share, YVMC revenue is more than twice that of TMH. And, they don't receive enhanced revenue for “Critical Access Status”. Plainly stated, they can afford their hospital and without tax support. Whereas, TMH will be more than hard pressed to make payments even with the passage of 1A Stan Hathhorn (not anonymous)
25 October 2007 at 4:42 p.m.
All:In response to the post from Oldsage's previous two questions:
1. TABOR is a constitutional amendment that says the mill levy cannot be raised without going to a vote of the people. So 1A isn't stripping the people of their TABOR rights - it's fully in compliance. The 5.5% revenue limitation limits growth, as Stan also indicates, to 5.5%. But, if the issue were to pass it is not in violation of statute because it is a tax increase voted in by the people. Both questions are written specifically to raise money for capital improvements. Both questions are written to sunset once the debt has been paid off.
I cannot speak for the school, but in review of the facts, the school district's bond will not allow them to levy any tax rate they see fit because they are restricted by the School Finance Act - the very act that has hurt Moffat County the worst by making them one of the lowest funded districts in the state. 2. The 3 mill increase is the maximum increase taxpayers can see for the hospital. We will only levy a mill high enough to collect $1.5 million/year. Should the assessed value increase to the point that 3 mills would amount to more than $1.5 million, the county would lower the levy to only collect $1.5 million. Should the assessed value decrease to the point that 3 mills don't generate 1.5 million, then the hospital collects whatever that lesser amount is.
25 October 2007 at 5:03 p.m.
I wanted to clarify for you TMH's current collection practices:
1. All patients who have oustanding bills at The Memorial Hospital receive a mininimum of 5 collection letters from the TMH billing department and 1 phone call from the TMH collector before any account is turned over to a collection agency.
2. No patient who responds to the TMH collection letters, makes a payment plan with the hospital and honors the payment plan is turned over to collections for any reason. Patients who communicate with our billing department are also afforded leniancy if they need to change the terms of their payment plans.
3. No account is turned over to collections before it is 120 days past due.
4. The only exception to the above is a patient whose mail is returned as undeliverable, a phone is disconnected and we have no way to contact the patient.
The current TMH policy is that any bill under $50 will not to be turned over to a collection agency. This policy was put into effect under the direction of tmh cfo Barry Bergman in late spring of this year.
It is fair to say that, under the current administration, no patient will be sent to a collection agency if they are communicating with us and attempting to pay their debt.
I hope this helps. If you need any additional information, please let me know. If your sister needs any additional information about her account, don't hesitate to contact our business officer manager Sandy Chamberlain at 824-9411.
25 October 2007 at 6:17 p.m.
I thought that the actual wording might help clarify my feelings on this.
***********wording of the referendum***************Shall Moffat County Taxes be increased not to exceed $1,500,000 annually by the imposition of an additional ad valorem property tax levy at a rate of three mills (or such lesser rate as will produce tax revenues of $1,500,000) upon all taxable property in Moffat County in each of the years 2007 through 2046 (for collection in the years 2008 through 2047), which tax shall be imposed, collected and applied in each such year to the operating and capital budget of the memorial hospital for the purpose of providing replacement hospital facilities and services for the county, with all revenue collected from the additional three mill ad valorem property tax rate, and investment earnings thereon, to be collected, retained and spent as a voter-approved revenue change, offset and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, or any other law, and as a permanent waiver of the 5.5% limitation under Section 29-1-301, C.R.S without affecting Moffat County's other taxes, revenues or spending (for hospital or other purposes) under the constitution and laws of the State of Colorado?********End of Referendum Text ******************
My problem with voting yes on this comes because of the wording that says, “collected, retained and spent as a voter-approved revenue change, offset and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution”.
This exempts this tax from the Tabor Tax Law restrictions which limited tax increases to those which the voters approved…. And then it removes the restriction to the 5.5% limitation under Section 29-1-301, C.R.S. Why did the people of Colorado put these restrictions and limitations in place in the first place? Our government was spending our children's future, indebting us and our children for pie in the sky programs…
As far as I'm concerned, if the hospital we have belongs to the people of Moffat County, I say, 'Sell it, and give us the money.” Then I would say to the people who want to make money with a new hospital, “Buy it with your own money.”
25 October 2007 at 7:16 p.m.
Jesus, Samantha nobody claimed that 1A would strip voters of their Tabor rights, or that it would be a violation of the 5.5% limitation. But a yes vote on 1A would freely relinquish both. I suggest you revisit your views on 3A, read the ballot. Stan Hathhorn
26 October 2007 at 5:49 a.m.
My tax bill will increase $2600 per year, not $90. Want to trade obligations? Oh, and the numbers I threw out were all expenses, not profit. Of course you all know who I am I sign my name, but who are you?
Taxslave, they claim that these issues have to sunset in 40 years. I haven't found a statute to support that, but who will remember to turn off the switch. A person just able to vote today will be nearly 60 years old when that time comes. once a tax, always a tax!!!! Stan Hathhorn
26 October 2007 at 4:06 a.m.
Speaking of sunsets, I remember when we taxed ourselves to build the new water treatment bldg. I don't believe those taxes were ever sunsetted.
Let's not forget that the property taxes in Craig were raised tremendously for homes and businesses over the last few years.
We were told we needed to get caught up with the rest of the country. As you can see, the rest of the country is deflating and things are not looking good.
Where is all that money? I mean, we were taxed just because.
26 October 2007 at 6:35 p.m.
The part that says, ” as a permanent waiver of the 5.5% limitation” means permanent right? Does that means some bright spark, or group of bright sparks can raise the taxes more than 5.5% for other things like maybe a REC Center???
26 October 2007 at 6:49 p.m.
An overlooked state statute:C.R.S. 25-3-307 Building requirements
“No hospital buildings shall be erected or constructed until the plans and specifications have been made therefore and adopted by the board of hospital trustees and bids advertised for according to law as for other county buildings…..
Samantha, it appears the cart is before the horse. You claim there are no blueprints. You also claim that the project will cost $46.2 million and, with interest added , an ultimate cost of $88 milllion. But , nothing has been advertised as required by law.
I'm confused. Without engineered drawings, and the requisite bid process, how does TMH identify the $46.2 million cost? Or, for that matter, what will we ultimately get.? Remember the Public Safety Center? Taxpayers were solemnly promised a build cost of $8 million. That cost was actually in excess of $14 million.
It appears that both the hospital and school have circumvented the intent of the above statute. That is, to develop plans and bid costs before asking the public for funding. Stan Hathhorn
26 October 2007 at 7:06 p.m.
Please identify the Colorado Revised Statute that limits tax initiatives to a 40 year life. I know it exists because you said it does. But I haven't found it. Thanks, Stan Hathhorn
26 October 2007 at 7:58 p.m.
The bond issues - 1A and 3A - do not change the limitations of the other taxing entities. These bond issues are written to specifically fund capital improvements for the school and the hospital. The County, the fire district, CNCC are still subject to the same limitations they've always been subject to.
Oldsage - you claimed in a previous comment that we shouldn't help fund the replacement of a school and a hospital. Both entities basically trying to stay up with maintenance issues - much like you or I budgeting to replace heating systems or a roof. But have you completely budgeted to totally replace your house? Do you or someone you know have a mortgage on your home? If you have a mortgage, haven't you, in fact, used someone else's money? The school and the hospital are asking for the taxpayers' help to build new infrastructure.
27 October 2007 at 10:15 a.m.
In your article this morning you say HUD has tenatively approved the hospital because the studies suggest that the hospital can afford it. Why then are you budgeting $5,000,000 of the total $42 million for finance charges up front (you posted the break out about two weeks ago)? Is the hospital's credit score so bad that they have to put up $5,000,000 up front just to secure the HUD loan? It doesn't make sence if the hospital has been losing money for years that the feasibility study (what ever that is) says they can afford it. If I didn't have a job for five years and I went to borrow money for a house the bank would turn me down flat. Even if I had just got a job, they would want to see atleast a year before they gave me a loan. I would probably have to have a down payment, but I wouldn't have to give them 20,000 bucks just in upfront finance charges (it is usualy around 1.5% not 10%) The sub-prime lending pratices of the front range shows us what happens when people are given loans they can't afford. When the hospital gets foreclosed on who gets the hospital?
27 October 2007 at 3:16 p.m.
Globe,It's worse than that , the $5 million is part of the loan proceeds. So, it will be amortized over 25-40 years and ultimately cost $10 million. No bricks and mortar here! Strange isn't it you have to donate loan proceeds to borrow money. Same crap that occurred during the PSC financing. When I borrow money I only pay a filing fee.
I think the brokers and attorneys feed at this trough, and the public thinks they are buying a building. Stan Hathhorn
27 October 2007 at 10:06 p.m.
Below is a projection of how the financing costs will break down:
Capitalized Interest $1,635,356Debt Issuance Costs $1,893,493HUD Mtg Insurance $713,610Finance Contingency Fee $792,900Total $5,035,359
While the hospital has lost money in the past, the financial picture today projects a profit of nearly $1 million in 2007. The HUD financing that you are speaking about is not based solely on today's revenues. Because TMH is a Critical Access Hospital, it receives Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement based on the actual operating costs of the hospital. Critical Access also allows us to be reimbursed for the depreciation costs of the capital building project, which means that once the new building is built, we will receive higher Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements for the same exact services we provide today. Therefore, if we do the same exact patient volume, we will earn more money from Medicare and Medicaid.
To clarify, HUD is not the financial institution, they simply help us to get funding and HUD also secures our loan, much like a co-signer. The loan will actually come from another financial institution. Depending upon interest rates and fees, we may issue bonds. TMH has engaged a financial services firm to work with HUD to review loan and bond issues to ensure that TMH gets the best possible financial package for the project. Also keep in mind that TMH cannot afford the project on its own and that all of the feasibility studies and analyses are based on the approval of the collection of $1.5 million annually from taxpayers (3 mills or $1.5 million, whichever is lesser). The approval of our HUD application simply means that HUD will guarantee our financing through whichever lender proves best for the project.
If the hospital defaults on the payment, the taxpayers of Moffat County are not responsible for bailing the hospital out of the debt it is in. It would be the responsibility of HUD to either restructure the loan or to devise an alternate payment plan with the hospital. Keep in mind that HUD is not in the business of owning rural hospitals, they are in the business of helping rural hospitals to do exactly the project we are trying to do today. They don't want to end up with a 25-bed hospital in Craig, Colorado so they are going to be 150% sure that we can afford the project.
Finally, I will do my best to get someone with a banking or finance background to post her about why financing costs are as they are and why we are approaching this project in this way. I understand the basic picture, but I'm no finance expert.
28 October 2007 at 12:08 p.m.
Craig girl says, “But have you completely budgeted to totally replace your house? Do you or someone you know have a mortgage on your home? If you have a mortgage, haven't you, in fact, used someone else's money? The school and the hospital are asking for the taxpayers' help to build new infrastructure.”
All we are saying is”NO”. It's not that we are unpatriotic, or against having a hospital or school, we are just saying we can't afford it. We are overburdened with an out of control government that has been squeezing our udders for too long. That's why the Bruce Amendment passed…. When the Bruce amendment was defeated the first time around, the vote was 51% to 49%. The governor said, 'I have appointed a task force to study why the people feel this way about raising taxes.” That task force cost the citizens of Colorado over $700,000, just so our governor could get in touch with 'the little people'.. I told a friend that the next time we voted on it, it would pass, and it did. Our politicians are so out of touch with the real world that they need to appoint task forces to study why we don't want more taxes. DOH!!! For those of you politicins who are reading this, let me explain, “we are tired of paying for programs that we can”t afford to use.” We are scrimping by month to month, hand to mouth, and we are getting robbed by greedy people who have found that they can vote themselves business. Well, enough is enough!
So find your funding somewhere else. Start budgeting for it yourself. I will not mortgage my children's future for these two entities. Not with the dimwits that are managing this county and both the hospital and school.
28 October 2007 at 2:27 p.m.
The Craig Daily Press Forum, “New Hospital Thread” began with the following post. (Aug. 29, 8:49 AM) “I don't understand, if they don't have enough money to complete the new hospital why is construction still being done?”
On Sept. l, 5:32 PM, Samantha wrote, “Keep in mind that the money being used for the infrastructure is money secured through a DOLA grant, which had to be utilized within a specific calendar year”.
Samantha, you're right the DOLA grant did have to be expended in a specific calendar year, but not this year! The expiration of the contract is 7/31/2008.Text of DOLA Contract FO6S5072: “The project shall commence upon the full and proper execution of this Contract and shall be completed on or before July 31, 2008. However, in accordance with paragraph 8.b or 8.c contained within the main body of this Contract, the project time performance may be extended by a contract amendment.”
Samantha, what was the hurry? Why did TMH go forward before 1A was approved? The 7/31/08 deadline was plenty of time to complete the project next year. Notwithstanding that, an extension was only an application away. Stan HathhornPS. Do you intend to answer any of my questions?
28 October 2007 at 4:42 p.m.
I want children to be educated and I want good health care for our community, but I do not want people to be taxed out of their homes. The bond issues permanently remove the 5.5% tax limitations as the wording plainly states! I have seen what has happened where the 5.5% tax limitation was removed. There are people now suffering for it in other communities. I know people who's expenses are so high that they have to sacrifice so they have enough money to pay their property taxes. Their choices are between food, the medication they need, and taxes.
I know people who are now paying 2/3 of the original cost of their home in property taxes every year. I know people who have lost their homes because of the out of control property taxes. I was very young the first time I saw it happen and had to ask my mother why the old man and his wife were crying at the courthouse. I saw the county force that old couple from their home for taxes.
It is the property tax system under which we live that allows 50.01% of the people to take money from the other 49.99% of the people. There is something wrong when people are forced from their homes for taxes. The hospital and the schools are businesses that produce a product. I don't have to address the quality of the product produced at the schools. Tristate entry examinations objectively established the quality of the graduates of MoCo High. I don't blame the school district or the teachers for the miserable dropout rate or for the graduates that can't speak correctly, let alone read, write, add, subtract, multiply, or divide, because it is not their fault. (continued next post)
28 October 2007 at 4:51 p.m.
It is the parent's fault because it is the parent's responsibility to make sure their child is educated so that their child can make a living and their own way in the world. If the parent thinks they can wash their hands (Oops, Biblical reference) of the responsibility because they sent their little darling off to school they are wrong. The responsibility is theirs regardless of who is providing the instruction. If one were to follow one of these functionally illiterates to their parent's home, one would find a parent who does not love their child, or a parent that is also functionally illiterate, or a parent who is so self absorbed that they never considered seriously their obligation to make sure their child is educated. If the school is not getting it done, the parent must do more, at home, at a private school, or at another government school.
It does not take a village, it takes a parent who understands their personal responsibility to their own child as well as to the society. Maybe taxing the parents of all the under achieving children would be the best incentive and it wouldn't hurt to start emphasizing to all children the daunting responsibilities parents have for educating their own progeny prior to teaching the children how to procreate in the sex ed class.
The short term economic incentive for advancing uneducated students from grade to grade and then graduating them from the local government schools is obvious, but the long term effect has been the devaluation of every high school diploma!
28 October 2007 at 5:18 p.m.
oldsage, Wow!! Well done, Stan Hathhorn
28 October 2007 at 6:58 p.m.
WOW— this discussion is really working, as more people are actually reading the information and asking very good questions. It is time that citizens vote with their good financial sense rather than emotions. I believe we need a hospital, but one we can afford without burdening the financial responsibilities of a generation or two. We should start making decisions in our City and County based on good business sense rather than emotional rhetoric.
Time for change == learn the facts and make decisions based on business methodology rather than the emotional representation./s/ Patt McCaffreyPS Thank You to the Moffat County Commissioners for leaving it to the citizens to make their own decisions .
30 October 2007 at 11:30 a.m.
In the DOLA contract (#FO6S5072) which provided the $1 million grant, under exhibit a scope of services, it reads,”The contractor is expected to provide two million three hundred forty eight thousand eighty and xx/100 Dollars ($2,348.080.00) in project financing…..” The total then was $3,348,080.
I understand that the successful contractor bid amount for that project was about $2.7. million.
Also a part of exhibit a is the following, “Any cost savings incurred while completing the Project will be divided proportionately between the Contractor and the State.” In this case the contractor is TMH. Since there is about $648,000 difference between the DOLA contract amount and the actual cost, will TMH rebate a share to the State?
30 October 2007 at 12:12 p.m.
You may or may not have heard about what caused the Burger King in Craig to go broke. A couple had just pulled into the BK lot and parked in the space right next to the drive-thru menu. They observed two males and one female employee through the open door on the west side of the rear of the building. The the two males were taking hamburger buns and stuffing them into their shirts to increase their bust size and were strutting around as if in drag and they were all laughing hysterically.
When the couple went inside to complain about the disgusting behavior, of what they thought was lower level employees, the manager turned out to be the female employee they had just seen. The couple complained at the counter to the woman that the behavior was disgusting and that it brought into question the quality of the food that was being served. The manager said she was aware of what they were doing and there was not a problem. She stated, If you don't like it go somewhere else. The man stated the handling of the food product was inappropriate and requested the telephone number of the owner. With that the manager refused to give the owners' telephone number and ordered the couple out of the BK under threat of calling the police. By this time many people who were waiting in line had overheard at least part of the exchange and asked what the employees were doing with the food. Upon the revelation of the behavior there was a mass exodus on the spot from the BK and shall we say the rest is history including the BK. It's not a legend. I was in line waiting to order my lunch and I saw it.
It's called dollar vote and it makes a big difference. Now that you know how powerful your dollar vote can be, examine the last page of Saturday's newspaper. Redirecting dollars is a way to vote every day!
31 October 2007 at 6:56 a.m.
So taxing the golden gooses is the best we can do? Is that a good business model for making such an important decision — back to voting from the heart and not thinking about how all of this debt will affect us for the next 40 years. These decisions are why Craig/Moffat County continues to work from Boom to Bust. jsds00 said it concisely, why should the rest of us have to support poor decisions by the Hospital Board? If we want continued growth, then taxing everyone isn't the path to take to attract businesses. Emotional decisions were the reason we are stuck with unnecessary debt problems now./s/ Patt McCaffrey
30 October 2007 at 2:29 p.m.
I guess I really don't care about hamburger buns or why BK went out of business. I will, whenever possible, choose to do my business in Craig and NOT redirect my dollars. And for the most part, I'm not interested in any more of Stans ramblings about contracts. I AM most interested in seeing that our community has good health care, anchored by a substantial hospital. Sam, I wouldn't answer if I were you. Whatever you say, and no matter how truthful and to the point, it always seems to get turned into another “important point” for arguement. I think the reason this thread is not very active is because other readers are tired of the rants also. I'm glad the election is next week and just hope that the voters can see the neccesity of a new hospital and will vote to fund it!
30 October 2007 at 3 p.m.
Perhaps you all missed the CDP article today regarding DOLA and their history of erroneous payments. That is the reason for my attention to the tmh /dola contract. Silentman, anything else? I think the reason the thread is not active, is Samantha won't respond to direct questions. stan hathhorn (not anonymous)
30 October 2007 at 3:21 p.m.
All the banter and grandstanding does not change the fact that the schools need to be upgraded and we need a new hospital. We should just all do the right thing and vote yes on both issues.
30 October 2007 at 4:29 p.m.
I have answered direct questions for six weeks now with regard to the hospital. I have been honest and forthright and have put hours into researching the things that people want and deserve to understand.
In previous posts you have questioned my integrity as a journalist and my political motives - it is clear to me that you do not find me to be a credible or honest source, so I doubt that I can bring any validation to further issues you raise.
You seem to have a very good handle on this information and I think you have made your position with regard to this issue clear.
We have all had the forum to say our piece - I think it's time to let the voters decide this issue.
30 October 2007 at 5:13 p.m.
It would appear that several people are still voting with their emotions and not using a good business model. We are being taxed way beyond what most people can afford to pay since the college mill levy and the fire department's mill levy. We having going to ruin Tabor, which most voters haven't realized it, and be taxed right out of the county. I agree we need a hospital in Craig/Moffat County and a good school system (teachers, etc), but ones we can afford without putting this debt on our future generations. At this time, I don't believe the Board based on past performance and questional deeds. I didn't realize the taxpayers are so weathly that 40 years of increased taxes won't be a problem. Most businesses will have to increase their prices to accommodate the mill levies, along with ongoing property taxes, etc. /s/ Patt McCaffrey
30 October 2007 at 6:53 p.m.
I, too am ready to let the voters decide. For the record, I don't have an opinion on new schools or a new hospital. I do have strong opinions on the methods Moffat county historically employs to achieve their goals. The ballot wording is, as I said before, insulting!The idea of not having a full scope of work and bid documents to offer contractors to prepare a competetive proposal, smacks of impropriety. Then there is the claim that TMH is profitable, and can retire an $88 million debt.
I raised issues and asked many unanswered questions, but I never asked anything I didn't know the answer to. My motive was to out the issues to voters. The most glaring of several poor decisions in the TMH campaign was the moronic idea to go ahead with the roads & infrastructure before financing was in place. That decision cost TMH all credibility with voters. StanHathhorn
30 October 2007 at 7:37 p.m.
All the money in the world will not help mismanagement. Plain and simple the hospital does not have the funds for a project already started and that is a very bad decision.
30 October 2007 at 7:57 p.m.
Does anyone who reads this forum actually understand tabor? tabor does not say that taxes cannot increase. It says that taxes and tax rates (mill levies) cannot increase without voter consent! In case you haven't been paying attention, the mill levies of both the School District and the County have been dropping since 2003! That is because the assessed value of the county has been increasing so drastically that the taxing authorities have to lower their mill levies so that they only collect the previous year's revenue plus 5.5% Most taxing authorities can run a mill levy credit each year - so they're not permanently lowering their mill levy. But the School District is not allowed to do so. Any time they lower their mill levy, it is forever - forever - lowered. People claim that the School Distict has been mismanaging money. Essentially they're getting a 5.5% raise each year. So let's just say they used that 5.5% each year to put towards capital. When would the teachers get a raise or when would skyrocketing health care costs get addressed. The hospital has been given a small amount by the County Commissioners each year. But it is not a guaranteed amount. Now they're asking for a definite amount - 3 mills. The citizens of Moffat County are fortunate to live in a county where 70% of the value is derived from 10 - count them 10 - taxpayers. About 68% of the tax dollars come from these taxpayers. Yes, our values are going up - thank GOD we're in a growing economy. But stop and think about how high our taxes might be if we didn't have the coal mines and the power plant. Before another person posts about TABOR rights being stripped and the Gallagher amendment being ignored - go read them.
31 October 2007 at 10:41 a.m.
In the eyes of those who wish to find fault with everything, they lose sight of all that is good. When their questions are answered and are still not satisfied, mostly because their question is answered. Their fustration mounts because their points are not as valid as they believe, name calling, questioning personal integrity, and pointing fingers soon follows. It degrades from intelligent debate to personal attacks which is unfair to all parties involved. As it degrades so does their credibility.
31 October 2007 at 12:36 p.m.
First, I have never done this type of commenting before so be patient with me. I feel like I need to clarify the difference between raising taxes by raising mill levies and an increase in taxes due to an increase in value. So many people have talked about how their taxes went up this year already according to their value increase. I hope that everyone can keep in mind that the values increased due to the market increases in property sales. If you have a problem with the market increase you need to be discussing it with your neighbor from California who paid an outragous amount of money for their double wide trailer or the appraisers who appraise homes in our area using comparables from Steamboat. I just want everyone to keep in mind that there is a difference in a property tax increase due to a value increase and one due to an additional or increasing mill levy. I am a working class citizen with small children. I will vote yes for both ballot issues. I would love to see our community obtain better facilities. Also I would like to add that the only people that can make a community better are the citizens who live in it. I hope that both issues pass and the citizens of Moffat County take a little more pride in what services we have in such a small community. So many of the comments regarding the hospital are so self-centered. I hope everyone also thinks about the other citizens of the County and what they may need as well.
31 October 2007 at 4:05 p.m.
160 posts, thats way too many for anyone new to read. i am suprised by new voices, but glad you have joined.Thanks Colorado for early voting. I know from expereince that the last week tend to get nasty, so I have already voted, and dont have to listen or read anymore of this issue, unless i want too.I feel Samantha has done an excellent job of answereing the questions that she could, some of the ones ask dont have an answer right now, but some wont take that for an answer. We will all have to wait till Tuesday night, and see if we are movig forward, or figuring out how to survive.
3 November 2007 at 6:19 a.m.
Anyone notice the Friday CDP article “Hospital expecting $1M net profit”? Also, that TMH's September financials were “remarkably unremarkable,” and registered a slight losss for the month. August also registered a slight loss (about $50,000) but was covered up by posting a DOLA grant of more than $270,000 as income. That grant money is dedicated to “bricks and mortar” or , in this case, curbs and gutters and is not available to offset operating expenses or debt service. Accordingly, it should never be posted as income. Ditto, another $100,000 grant posted in December, 2006 to bolster a sagging botttom line. I may have missed others.
In that same article, Quorum Health Resources, awarded TMH an award based on the hospital's cash on hand, or the number of days of expenses TMH could cover….On August 31, 2007 TMH had a bank balance of $656,829 and bills to pay of $502,656. Doesn't leave much does it? Remember, Quorum is the company contracted by TMH to manage TMH. TMH's actual profit from operations through August 31, 2007 was $152,480 and slipped further in September.
Lastly, the CDP printed my letter to the editor this morning, not the revised letter I sent but an edited version with much less impact, They also saw fit to change the listed TMH profits for 2003 from a loss of $404,597 to a positive, ditto the 2006 loss to a positive $87,329. That 's journalism at it's finest. Fair and balanced!! But I didn't really expect anything less from the CDP.
3 November 2007 at 10:29 a.m.
Stanley, Stanley, Stanley,
I would prefer to keep this discussion at the issue level, but I am required to come down to the gutter level because I sense a little boy inside that screams out for help. Is there anybody else out to get you that we should be keeping an eye on? I think somebody needs a hug.
I agree, terribly unfair of the CDP to keep printing your half-truth rants. Education, healthcare, government, fast-food, and the media - all are being led by people bent on making sure Moffat county voters are completely bamboozled. I thank you for shining the glorious light of truth on the self-centered evil that these people represent. I thank you and your followers for caring enough to drive away open-minded people seeking information in this forum, they were only detracting from your vision.
When can we expect the unveiling of your comprehensive plans to solve all our societal woes, or maybe just help our local community? I promise, we won't question your intent or your integrity. Us dimwitted voters truly appreciate every pearl you are willing to share. And don't get me started on the CDP again, the blood boils!! In Stan we trust….
PS - Great job Samantha, you have done all you can do.
3 November 2007 at 1:54 p.m.
He's got a “For Sale” sign on the house now. One would wonder how long he may have been planning to move and what the REAL motives for his opposition may be. Kind of discounts what he has been posting, in my opinion.
3 November 2007 at 5:27 p.m.
Sam, I was wondering, What is the “plan” for the old hospital?
3 November 2007 at 11:25 p.m.
xrsareus:The plan for the current hospital facility is unknown at this point. The current facility is a county asset, so TMH Board of Trustees and Moffat County Commissioners will go through the proper process to divest a county asset.To date, we do have a letter of interest from the VNA as the facility would allow them to expand their wellness and aging programs, etc.Once the election is over and we know whether we will be proceeding with a new hospital, there will be a lot more discussion about what to do with the old building - this will likely be a very public process.Let me know if you need more information.Thanks,Sam
4 November 2007 at 10:34 a.m.
Why would the VNA want such an outdated, screwed up building with all the deficiencies listed as the reasons for building a new hospital?
Why would anyone want such a building? It's junk, right?
There is someone not only waiting for the old hospital building, they are also advocating the construction of the new hospital so that the old one will be available at a fire sale price. Think about it. And watch who shows their hand when it is time to sell it. Somebody is going to get a deal and it is not going to be Moffat County! Throughout history there have always been those who make their fortunes from purchasing “surplus” government property. This will be no different!
4 November 2007 at 1:03 p.m.
Sorry Native !!!! I was just driving by the hospital and was wondering what the plan was for the building….. So if it is a county building, will Moffat county start paying for the utility's if the hospital moves? Or has the county always had to pay for the upkeep, insurance, utilitys and other things on that building? Or will the hospital be paying these items for two buildings until it is sold? Am I thinking to far ahead???????
5 November 2007 at 7:30 a.m.
Even though I no longer live in Craig, it will always be home to me. I have many times in the past years gone to Steamboat to use the hospital. Why? Because it is a newer facility. Because newer facility attracts better doctors. Because they have newer equipment. Because even though they may not be cleaner-they look cleaner. Craig has needed a new hospital for a long time. As taxpayers in Craig-as taxpayers anywhere in this country, we pay taxes to improve our future. My children and grandchildren still live in Craig, and I know that higher taxes are no fun. I didn't know how lucky we were regarding taxes until I moved away. I live in a little unincorporated town where there is nothing-kind of like living in Maybell- and while I love it here, the taxes are twice what we paid in Craig. If a town is to improve itself, it costs. It will cost X amount of dollars now, but it will cost more later. Fact of life. But make no mistake-sooner or later a new hospital will be built. It is really just a matter of how much you are willing to pay for it. Maybe I don't pay taxes there any longer, but my heart belongs to Craig, I visit there every summer, and if an emergency comes up, I will go to the hospital. It is up to the voters to decide which hospital people will go to-the old one in Craig, or the new one in Steamboat-where the people care enough about their future to improve on it. Not anonyous-Donna Rettmann-Bouse, Arizona
5 November 2007 at 10:41 a.m.
Donna Rettmann, said, “I didn't know how lucky we were regarding taxes until I moved away. I live in a little unincorporated town where there is nothing-kind of like living in Maybell- and while I love it here, the taxes are twice what we paid in Craig…”
Well, those in Maybell and the rest of Moffat County will have the same taxes you have with the same services, while those in Craig will have the same services they had before in a new building. Misery loves company, tax yourselves into oblivion!
5 November 2007 at 11:31 a.m.
In this mornings CDP, TMH's chief financial officer stated, ” If the mill levy is approved, a full feasibility study will take place: This study will take 90-120 days..” Following that he stated, “If we pass the feasibility study, our application for HUD support can be submitted, and is a very difficult hurdle to clear”.
TMH's financial picture will have to take a dramatic turnaround, one that is unlikely to be remedied in 120 days. I shared TMH financials with a person in the financing business, that person laughed and said, ” the institution that finances this project had better have experience at running a hospital as they will probably end up with it”.
So, here we are a day away form voting on the biggest tax issue in county history, and TMH officials can't confirm that financing is available to continue the project.
Consider what will happen if 1A passes and TMH cannot secure financing. Taxpayers will still be on the hook for $1.5 million a year for at least 40 years. ($60 million total) Money that may never be spent on a new facility! Remember the wording of the ballot, the money can be spent on operations, meaning anything TMH desires.
Mr. Bergman, this is not about “Does Moffat County need and deserve a new hospital?” This is about ballot wording that doesn't confine the tax proceeds to capital projects. This is about starting infrastructure before funding is secured, and asking the public for a tax increase before financing is in place. This is all backwards, and certainly not in the best interest of taxpayers. WE must vote no until this project is properly presented!! Stan Hathhorn
7 November 2007 at 8:48 a.m.
I have been reading this forum for awhile now, but haven't posted. I have only used the information to make my personal decision on what direction I voted. But after the ignorant comment made in a post this morning, I cant help but make a comment of my own. No Coal Mines/Power Plant, no graig. Just think about that, Native John Madsen
5 November 2007 at 12:10 p.m.
Did anyone read the Rocky MT News/Denver Post combined articles about how each American is on the hook for $400,000 due to the National Debt, well just keep adding on to our debt for many generations. I think we need a good hospital but would like to make sure we can afford it before the debt drowns the community. The Hospital didn't tell all the processes and procedures that need to be done before they can get the funding. This is so unforgiving and disappointing that we can't get all the facts out to the public. I can't believe that enoughalready called the Moffat County/Craig voters dimwits — that is truly sad. Patt McCaffrey
5 November 2007 at 2:12 p.m.
grannyrett, Your quote, “Steamboat-where the people care enough about their future to improve on it.” For your information Routt county taxpayers were not asked for a tax increase to fund YVMC. It was, and is funded through profits from operations. It's time to face facts, TMH doesn't have the market share to support another facility such as YVMC. It's plain and simple, TMH barely makes enough profit to sustain a facility that was paid for long ago. In business there are good ventures and some not so good, a new hospital is not so good. Stan Hathhorn
5 November 2007 at 5:04 p.m.
On the eve of what may be one of the most important election days in Moffat County those who would like to see the hospital issue defeated find new and less compelling arguments to vote no.There is an old saying that only two things are certain “Death & Taxes” taxes will always be there its the price you pay to live in a free society. As we all know freedom isn't cheap it costs money and unfortunatly it sometimes costs lives. By supporting 1A we could possibly save some lives.Because of the limitations of the existing building services cannot expand to meet the needs of the community and more of the market share will migrate elsewhere. If enough of the market share moves on the hospital will someday probably close. In emergencies where seconds count consider having to drive another 45 minutes to the closest hospital. That's really not important to those who claim they will never use this facility, but to those of us who are mere mortals and may become ill or injured driving another 45 minutes is not an acceptable risk.I still find it amazing that for pennies a day to the average homeowner, and even a couple of bucks a day to the all knowing captains of industry and the giants of retail, they are willing to risk the wellbeing of their employees, customers, neighbors& and the community by waging this all out war against better heath care in Moffat County.
5 November 2007 at 5:08 p.m.
Native, It “boils down” to whether taxpayers will front $60 million in taxes, without knowing if TMH can get financing for their share.
We all have neighbors with more than us, big hill or not, that is just the way it is! Stan Hathhorn
5 November 2007 at 5:50 p.m.
There are very important decisions to make on the eve of the election, and hopefully decisions will be made on facts and not on emotion. Our emergency room can still handle cases very well without a new poorly worded mill levy. In the olden days, the voters usually voted down a mill levy twice, and then on the third try, it passed because the wording was clear and concise, based on good facts presented to the electorate. However, that is certainly missing this time. As we tax the industrial and commerical properties, we can watch them raise their prices to pay for all these little penny increases. As Charlie Brown always says, “good grief”!Patt McCaffrey
5 November 2007 at 7:03 p.m.
Good Grief! We need a hosptial, what we don't need is a mill levy with too many loopholes — like using the money for operating expenses. Change the language and make it concise, clear, and leave out the operating and do the correct procedures and convince the voters that the hospital can actually pay for this new hospital and then most intelligent people would make the decision to build it. Why is this so difficult to understand or did you already forget the Justice Center? There are still a lot of hurdles to leap over and why use capital dollars for operating expenses or is this another hidden agenda?Patt McCaffrey
5 November 2007 at 10:24 p.m.
Well, I have sat back and read each and every posting in this thread.
I know which way I will be voting. As a little hint, here is my take on the hospital tax…
I use TMH. My parents, sisters, brothers, their children, my friends, co-workers and everyone else in this valley uses TMH, especially in an emergency. The building is falling apart. The rooms in the building were designed for a different age, a different number of patients, and a different era in medicine.
These things affect all of us, and if it costs me another fifty bucks a year (which, by the way roughly equals one pair of blue jeans in today's market, not a huge burden!) to help to subsidise the new building, well, so be it. We need a new facility. You can tap dance all day and night around the finer details, but when you get finished, we still have a need for a well built, modern facility that we use, as a community. I, for one, would much rather spend more on building up our infrastructure than see everything shipped out to Steamboat. And that's where our medical care is going to be if we don't step up and get this hospital built. I do not relish the idea of driving to Steamboat for emergency care in the summer, much less on ice or in a blizzard. And if you think having to be carted to Steamboat by ambulance won't cost us in lives, think again.
One last thought that nobody has mentioned…I have cringed and crossed my fingers many a time when Flight for Life comes in and takes off. Landing a chopper in a residential area on a landing pad the size of an office desk is no mean feat. Although the pilots are fantastic, one of these days one of them is liable to take out a house or a car the way they have to land all crammed in between buildings.
As for Stan, well, I suppose if you have a thriving business you might pay more in taxes. That's the price of doing business, be thankful you have a good, solid business that makes a profit and you can afford a nice life. Many, many people in this valley try real hard to make a living on minimum wage. Now that is something to complain about. Maybe some folks need to assess, count their blessings, and be a little more community-minded.
The truth is we don't get anything that's worth a darn for free and if we want to keep Craig growing and into the modern age, we may just have to buck up and do more than gripe. It's called investing in ourselves and our city. Besides, we're going to be taxed on innumerable things in which we have no say. I would much rather decide where my tax dollars go than for the government just to take them for whatever strikes their fancy.
Just one more thing, everyone, do take the time to go out and vote, whatever you decide on the issues!
6 November 2007 at 5:30 a.m.
I just love it when people say to others go vote, it doesn't matter if you are uninformed, just vote because you have that right (and you as an ill informed slob will most likely vote for our cause because it has been worded and sold to the public as an emotional issue, ie It's for the children or it's for the community).
That's Ok, I am heading to Vote this morning to cancel at least one emotional ill informed vote! Have a great day!
6 November 2007 at 8:27 a.m.
So it becomes clearer. It seems oldsage believes that the average citizen shouldn't be allowed to vote because they are”ill informed slobs” I guess old sage believes that only the self proclaimed know it alls should be allowed to vote. I as well voted today and found 5 other “ill informed slobs” to vote as well. With any luck us poor “ill informed slobs” will make you do the right thing and help pay of a new hospital, or you can just pack up and leave.
6 November 2007 at 10:20 a.m.
Do you ever wonder why Stan's business is thriving? Maybe he has made some positive financial decisions and is trying to help others make good decisions. As far as I can tell he has been very professional and level headed. Lets put our feelings aside and make a good financial decision.
6 November 2007 at 8:52 p.m.
glad its over and glad both measures passed, Move on Craig
6 November 2007 at 9:05 p.m.
I would just like to thank Stan Hathhorn and Oldsage for their continuously critical commentary. It allowed us to present the FACTS to the voters of Moffat County. The process worked! It turns out that our voters are well-informed.
7 November 2007 at 8:10 a.m.
That's not quite true native, Stan, I am confident, like myself would be doing other things with our time hard earned wealth. The mines in the area obviously do provide considerable economic opportunities for may of us but there are those who are not now or ever in a position to have any of those opportunities.
Let's get at least one thing straight, “feelings” have nothing to do with my opinion of the ballot issues and from reading Stan's posts it is clear “feelings” are not why he concluded as I did that the wording on the measures was not really for the good of the community. Difference in opinion? Maybe or is it that some people can see further down the road? The future has arrived, OIL at over $97 a barrel and the price of everything is going up, shall we say Big Time, and the elation that you all “Feel” today will be short lived when you get your tax notices and see the tax increase you just got voted for yourselves. And for the next 40 Januaries. The national predictions only two days ago was $3.75 per gallon by spring, yea well that prediction will need some adjusting. At what price will the tourism stop? At what price will the hunters reconsider their recreational habits? And what effect will that have on the local economy? If and when the big 6 taxpaying industries in this county slowdown, cut production, and undoubtedly jobs, where will you be? Kicking in a little more to make up for the loss. Oh yea, now they can just raise your taxes because you voted to remove the limitation. As I have gained years and knowledge it appears that the elapsed time from when people do stupid things to when they reap the consequences has condensed. The speed of everything has increased. I am confident the consequences to some will only be the ability to afford all the cable programing they want, while others will be subjected to the loss of the more life sustaining things I previously described. I do not think Stan or I have to worry if we will be among those groups. I do however have empathy for those who will suffer because others voted to take their money. I have no sympathy for those who did this to themselves and their neighbors.
7 November 2007 at 10:12 a.m.
The election is over and the decision made. The majority of the people felt that Craig & Moffat County need better health care facilities and schools. They felt it was more important to have those facilities even if the ballots were not perfectly written. Everyone who voted knew that they would be paying more taxes but felt it was worth the price. For those who took great issue with the ballot wording or any new taxes that part is now water under the bridge. Now its time to support better health care & and schools. But the choice is theirs to either support the the project or be bitter and contiue to find fault with everything nomatter what.
Many thanks to Sam Johnston for a job well done. The results proved that you are infact credible inspite of all the attacks
7 November 2007 at 6:57 p.m.
Native (anonymous of course) You won, and still don't have an identity?
“No coal mines, no Stan”. Native, to that end would you like to see the demise of coal mining in Moffat and Routt County? The very industry that makes it possible for you to pay only pennies a day on County obligations of $142 million for the two tax issues! Oh, and you speak of “the ski hill” as the almighty reason for YMVC success. The “hill” has nothing to do with their success.
Your insinuation that I am opportunistic, and just because I am here I reap untold wealth is crap. I was here before both Moffat County mines began production. I am still in business because for 26 years I have dedicated myself and my company to being the best! We hire only the best, and produce the best, as evidenced by our near zero rework/warranty costs. Without a doubt, we have the best performance record of any mine repair shop in the U.S.
And, I resent my company being brought into this discussion. I am not trying to secure a publicly funded $42.6 million loan.
I have to pay taxes on my gains and still have a better bottom line than TMH. I assure you I wouldn't dare ask my bank for a $2 million loan, let alone $42.6 million.
8 November 2007 at 8:03 a.m.
This forum started with one post and it will end with a single post. Could this be the final word?
Time will tell who is right. If the hospital doesn't get their other loans then they will still get the $1.5 million that we voted for this next year to do with as they please (this would prove Stan's point on the wording of the ballot). If the hospital is doing worse than they are letting the public know and can't get the other loans then someone will need to be held accountable to both the community and provide Stan with a public appology (I think that is fair).
If the hospital does get built and they can't afford to make their payments, then not only should someone get fired and owe the community an apology, there should probably be a law suit involved (This seems fair too).
However….., if the hospital IS built and it IS successful, then Stan should provide a public appology to both the community, county officials, and hospital management (Fair is fair).
I guess only time will tell…….
8 November 2007 at 8:50 a.m.
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”— Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Stephens Smith, 13 November 1787)
8 November 2007 at 2:35 p.m.
Finally, a rational and objective view. Count me in! Thanks, Stan Hathhorn
12 November 2007 at 12:17 p.m.
Time will tell and perhaps then we will understand why there was so much misinformation from the Hospital. It is interesting that the contractor for construction was awarded without any blueprints as Sam told us that weren't any blueprints completed. This is going to be exciting to see how things get done for the hospital. I certainly hope things go a lot smoother than most of the projects in this County. :-)
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