Published in the Iola Register on Feb. 22, 2013.

Letter to the Editor 2-22-13

Dear Editor,
If you have attended the proposed health center information sessions and asked questions – as well as listened to the radio and read the newspaper – you know that the Cloud County Health Center board of directors and presenters have studied and answered questions thoroughly and with transparency. Their plan minimizes the fear that the payment burden will be dumped onto our property tax. As I understand it, modifications to the current building will require an increase in taxes, but to avoid that, the hospital board has developed ways to fund a new facility without raising property taxes.
The cost estimate to bring the current hospital up to code is nearly $6 million. I wonder if that estimate covers the extra costs that cannot help but occur during the updating and renovating of older buildings. As an employee of Cloud County Community College, I remember the seemingly endless run of change orders that were necessary during recent projects at the college. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can infer that bringing the hospital up to code may eventually run more than $6 million. Whatever the case, we’ll still have an archaic facility with cement support structures that prohibit adequate renovation. Sixty years may not be old for some buildings, but it is for a hospital.
Furthermore, I understand that bringing medical professionals to Concordia is becoming more and more difficult – even impossible – because of the current facility. Medical students are trained in facilities with up-to-date equipment and adequate space for surgery and other services. How do we replace retiring surgeons, doctors, or specialists if our hospital doesn’t meet the technological and space requirements for health care in the twenty-first century?
Old theatres, old houses, and old churches are wonderful. Old hospitals are not. Let’s look to the next sixty years.  Please vote YES on February 26.
Sincerely,
Brenton Phillips
Concordia