BEATRICE – The Marshall County, Kansas Commission has refused to approve placing a half-cent countywide sales tax question, on the November ballot, to help support Community Memorial Healthcare, in Marysville.
Hospital officials say two recent proposals to place the issue on the ballot failed, for lack of a second from a county commissioner. County Commissioner Dave Baier initially proposed a plan that would sunset after ten years….and then a plan that would end after five years. But, both proposals, offered in separate meetings, failed to gain a second and move to a vote. Commissioners Bob Connell and Lynn Feldhausen declined their support.
Community Memorial Healthcare CEO Curtis Hawkinson says it was disappointing that the question did not advance to the ballot for public consideration.
:24 “the people”
The Marysville Hospital was seeking the sales tax support because of several years of deficits, brought on by uncompensated care, the level of uninsured or under-insured patients, and the State of Kansas’ unwillingness to expand Medicaid. Commissioners who did not support the sales tax ballot question said they did not receive positive personal responses on the issue, questioned the petition and felt not enough financial information had been given by the hospital.
:26 “going forward”
Community Memorial Healthcare submitted petition signatures of public support for the ballot issue, with 462 signatures collected in less than two weeks. Hawkinson feels another vote by the commission this year, is not realistic.
Hawkinson says he’s received positive personal feedback about placing the sales tax issue before voters.
:26 “my message”
Community Memorial Healthcare has been nationally recognized as one of the top 100 critical access hospitals for both 2016 and 2017, based on quality of service and efficiency.