Letter to the editor
May 14, 2020
There is a lot of discussion in regards to the possibility of a new hospital in Sundance and clinic in Hulett with also a few words about a clinic in Upton. What I have been hearing so far is this would be funded with the money that was allocated for COVID-19 relief thru the CARES act.
While a new hospital in Sundance, possible clinic in Hulett and Upton would be an improvement, I am wondering has any consideration been given to after the project is complete? What will be the cost to operate and from where will those funds be gathered?
Are there certain criteria that have to be met and could we be better served by a facility designed to allow later expansion, thus allowing lower upfront costs with the ability to grow as the community grows, thus not overloading the taxpayers in the hope more revenue will arrive to cover the operation of the facility now?
A gift horse is great, if you don’t break yourself in the process of keeping it fed and stalled. My concern is we are running so fast to take this money they printed that if we are not careful, we could be doing ourselves a real disservice.
Yes, there would be an economic shot in the arm, but could be a gift leave us holding the bag. There is a saying, “with the shekels come the shackles” – we are talking about federal dollars so let’s be wise and not let the “you gotta spend it now or lose it” pitch make us sorry later.
Let’s figure out what we need and can afford to maintain. Sundance is a Critical Access Facility and that designation has certain requirements to be qualified for USDA funding to help support the maintenance of the facility.
I trust these issues are being considered before the decisions are being made. I have heard figures of $22 million initially up to $52.8 million lately.
While our representative suggests taking the money or someone else will, may I suggest we use what we need to serve our purpose and let Crook County be among those who took what they needed and not advantage. Nothing from the federal government is free. This all comes out of our pockets eventually, be it us, our children, or our grandchildren.
We need to be the ones to set the example of responsible spending for others to follow. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we need to find a way to spend it all. That isn’t wise. That attitude has brought us to where we are as a nation today.
Crook County Rancher/Farmer