Group promotes hospital district referendum
Ballot issue would lift limits on grant funding
A group of concerned citizens has formed a new committee – Friends of Our Hospital – to promote a referendum on the November ballot.
The referendum, 5D MCHD, calls for lifting restrictions currently imposed by state law so that the Montezuma County Hospital District (MCHD) will have access to additional grant funding that is available to rural hospitals. The referendum does not call for any additional taxes to be paid by property owners or other residents in Montezuma County.
The restrictions currently in place limit the amount of grant funding that can be accepted to $27,000 per year. If these restrictions are lifted, that figure will increase to $1 million.
“If we are to continue supporting our local hospital so that they can continue providing high-quality care to the residents of our community, this additional grant funding is very much needed,” said MCHD board chairman Bill Thompson.
The Montezuma County Hospital District is the landlord for Southwest Memorial Hospital. The district owns the hospital building on Mildred Road in Cortez, the land surrounding the facility, as well as the Mancos Valley Health Center building in Mancos. Southwest Health System, in turn, leases the facilities from the district to provide health care in the community. The district supports the hospital by maintaining the buildings and making capital purchases such as facility upgrades and state-of-the-art medical equipment.
The committee emphasizes that the referendum on the November ballot does not ask for a tax increase.
“The beauty of 5D is that it will cost taxpayers absolutely nothing — not one dime — but it will help our local hospital access funding that is currently unavailable,” said Karen Sheek, committee spokesperson.
“When 5D passes, everyone benefits.
“Not only will the hospital be able to keep up with the latest technology and continue providing great care and services to all of us, but this additional money coming into the community will also be an economic boon.”
Friends of Our Hospital welcomes new members to the committee. Anyone interested in helping support the group’s efforts should contact Sheek at 759-4533.