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Monday
Apr142014

vote "yes" for a McIntosh county hospital district

You may be aware of the upcoming opportunity on the voting ballot this June.  The Board of Directors and Administrators of the Wishek Hospital and Clinics and the Ashley Medical Center are asking residents of McIntosh County to vote “yes” on the formation of a Hospital District.

Rural North Dakota hospitals averaged a -1% loss in 2013, according to Eide Bailly of Fargo.  As our medical facilities are some of the biggest employers in McIntosh County, not to mention the largest sources of medical care for our communities, this financial loss could pose major problems in the near future.  According to Health Resources and Services Administration, if local healthcare should disappear, as much as 20% of the local economy could go with it.  Community support is vital for our hospitals and clinics to survive.    

The move to a “Hospital District” status will improve our ability to serve our local people by increasing revenue for both Ashley and Wishek’s medical facilities.  As a Hospital District, we will have a set of bylaws, be governed by a five-member board that is publicly elected, and will conduct meetings open to the public.  The new status will also open up the possibly of gaining further financial support for our medical facilities through mill levies (property taxes).   The Hospital District will levy 8 mills (approximately $73,635, according to Gina Ketterling, McIntosh Co. City Auditor).  For tax payers, this means that a home valued at $60,000 will pay an additional $21.60 a year in taxes.  Landowners will pay on average an additional $24.26 per 1/4 section of land a year.  A business valued at $150,000 would see an increase of $60.00 a year.

A petition to get the Hospital District on the June ballot has been circulating and needs 308 legitimate signatures to pass by April 7th.  Once we have the signatures, it will need a 60 percent majority vote to be approved.  The urgency of this request comes with gratitude for the countless times our communities have rallied around our hospitals and clinics.  We would be honored if you would continue your support by voting “yes” on the development of a Hospital District. 

 

Thank you for your support,

The Wishek Hospital and Clinics & Ashley Medical Center

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