Hospital endorses CNCC mill-levy bid

George Rohrich, chief executive officer at The Memorial Hospital in Craig, says an easy friendship exists between the hospital and Colorado Northwestern Community College.

On Wednesday night, the hospital board of trustees strengthened that relationship by agreeing to endorse CNCC's upcoming tax initiative. The hospital board unanimously decided, in a 6-0 vote, to support the college's tax proposal with a formal resolution.

"It's more than just a token," board chairman Don Myers said, adding that each board member also would write letters of support on CNCC's behalf. "It's heartfelt support."

In November, the college will seek to gain voter approval for the continuation of a 3-mill levy that raises about $1.3 million, or one-third of the CNCC Craig campus' total budget. An approved tax question would keep the mill levy alive indefinitely.

Without a voter-approved extension, the mill levy will sunset in 2009.

Gene Bilodeau, Craig campus dean, gave a brief presentation to the hospital board Wednesday night asking for its support. He said the hospital and CNCC -- which are partnering on a deal to bring a new hospital to Craig on 15 acres west of Shadow Mountain Village -- are similar because both institutions are trying to accomplish big things in the near future.

"Prior to doing anything, we need to know where we're at with our mill," Bilodeau said.

Hospital officials said they would soon begin drafting the resolution supporting CNCC.

"The college and the hospital have a very special relationship," Rohrich said. "I think it's very important we support them as much as we can."

By agreeing to support CNCC's mill-levy bid, the hospital joins the Craig City Council and the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership as organizations formally agreeing to back the proposal. Bilodeau said part of the campaign is geared toward gaining the endorsement of local entities.

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