By Chuck Wentworth | SENTINEL
Sierra County Commis-sioners convened a public hearing for an ordinance seeking to extend Gross Receipt Tax (GRT) funding for Sierra Vista Hospital (SVH) prior to addressing a full agenda of items during their regular session Tuesday morning, August 21.
Speaking in favor of the ordinance, SVH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) D. Rush briefly explained how the original GRT allotment was an emergency effort to bolster the hospital’s inability to fully recoup costs associated with services provided to the community. She also said the GRT revenues were important in assuring the facility remained operational through past financial difficulties.
Rush then talked about the hospital’s recent financial recovery, which she said was sufficient enough to pay off the facility’s long-standing mortgage earlier this year.
Mrs. Rush then urged commissioners to extend the GRT funding and said that if the ordinance were approved she would request that associated revenues be directed toward the construction of a “Central Plant.” She went on to explain how the hospital’s current utility plant would be insufficient to service the facility, as well as the new emergency room complex and other planned improvements. She said construction of a new central plant would ensure that the hospital’s present complex and future additions would be able to maintain full services, through planned construction in the years ahead.
There were no statements offered in opposition to the proposed ordinance.
Once into their regular session, and as they moved to consider the proposed ordinance, commissioners expressed support for the continued renovation and construction of new facilities at SVH. Chairman Walter Armijo then accepted a motion to approve the GRT extension and target funding toward development of the hospital’s new central plant. The motion was duly seconded and endorsed by a unanimous vote….