Our View: Still in progress
Editor’s note: Bryce Jacobson, Daily Press publisher and Editorial Board member, is a Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association board member.
The scenario that Moffat County and The Memorial Hospital officials have feared regarding the current hospital campus is fast approaching.
That scenario: the Russell Street building that once housed the hospital for decades sitting vacant and empty.
In November 2007, Moffat County voters approved a $42.6 million tax measure, which funded a much-needed new hospital facility.
That facility is under construction and will be completed by the end of the year.
But, while TMH’s future is assured at the new building, the plight of its former home is less certain.
As of now, there is no set plan for what will happen to the Russell Street building.
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, which occupies part of the current building, has proposed a deal, but nothing has been finalized.
The proposal at a glance: The VNA has offered $1 million that it received as a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation for partial ownership of TMH’s current campus.
The county commission has stated that it might offer the VNA as much as a $500,000 discount.
The sides have not agreed how much ownership the VNA will get for its money.
The Editorial Board is pleased that there is at least some progress toward resolving what will happen with the Russell Street building.
But, board members are disappointed that the process has taken this long.
It’s been close to two years since voters approved the new hospital funds – meaning close to two years since officials from all sides involved knew they needed to find a new tenant – and we still don’t have a resolution.
Provided the VNA deal goes through – it looks as if it will – that solves only part of the problem.
What will happen to the remainder of the hospital building? That’s a large building on Russell Street and one that is both an asset and could still be a benefit to the community.
The board questions whether officials have looked aggressively at resolving the occupancy question and hopes officials work with a little more purpose than they have thus far.
They’ve certainly had the time to find an answer, but based on the limited progress that’s been made, it’s safe to say that time hasn’t been well spent.
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