Ruby Valley Hospital prepares informational flyer for levy

Ruby Valley Hospital administrator John Semingson is working on an informational pamphlet to answer community questions about the Ruby Valley Hospital District mill levy, which will go before voters on the May school election.

The move comes after Semingson met with the RVH board of directors last week to discuss the mill levy as it relates to the business and operations of the hospital. The hospital published a similar informational flyer in 2008 when district voters passed a four-year levy for the hospital.

The pamphlet is aimed at resolving any questions or concerns for voters in the district who may be undecided about supporting the levy.

The May 8 ballot will ask voters to approve a permanent mill levy of 25 mills for the continued successful operation of the Ruby Valley Hospital, which would raise approximately $240,000 per year. Semingson said that the levy would provide much needed support for the hospital.

“The reserves that we have been able to place into board designated funds, which right now is about $510,000, are less than two months worth of expenditures to keep the Ruby Valley Hospital operational,” Semingson said. “We really don’t have a major cushion.”

Some of the information included in the informational pamphlet will compare current property valuations with those from four years ago in terms of the mill levy, as well as answers to questions about why the hospital needs a permanent levy and how they have handled board designated funds over the last four years.

“Our objective is to provide information to all the voters in the district as to what they’re voting on and why we’re asking for a permanent mill levy,” Semingson said.

The decision for the permanent levy is based on survey results from a health care needs assessment conducted by the hospital district. RVH received responses from 38 percent of the 750 surveys sent out, and of those 42 percent of respondents were in favor of the levy while another 40 percent said they were neutral.

Semingson said that having the support of the local community behind the levy is an important part of providing medical services for people.

“If we are to look at doing any type of equipment replacement or various things along those lines we do not have the cash reserves to make that happen,” he said.

Semingson will present a draft of the informational pamphlet to department heads and the RVH board of directors next week to review information about the levy before it is published and made available to voters.

“I want to make sure that the board is comfortable with what we’re going to be putting out for the voters of the public hospital district,” he said.

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