Is it Feasible?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Once again the citizens of Dunklin County will be heading to the polls to vote on a tax issue.

The proposed county tax will be on the August 7, 2018 ballot.

Proposition Health will implement a one half cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax to build a small acute care hospital in Kennett, while Proposition Care will also implement a one half cent property tax that would be used to subsidize the operation of the hospital through professional management.

Its a big decision and one that many thought could never happen.

The timeline for the hospital closure was also moved up on Friday.

As of 11:59 p.m. on June 11, 2018 Dunklin County will be without a hospital.

The process of bringing a hospital back to Kennett now begins.

The Dunklin County Commission is in the process of interviewing firms to conduct a feasibility study to distinguish what services should be offered at the hospital.

Its a daunting task for our community leaders and doctors.

Traveling throughout the region Ive heard many somewhat colorful opinions on the hospital issue.

Some are adamant about not paying another tax, others share they will use other hospitals in the area, while others desperately want a hospital back in Kennett.

In a recent DDD poll 50.3 percent stated the closing of TRRMC would affect them a great deal.

What surprised me was that coming in second at 29.3 percent was a contingent of people who voted the closing would not affect them at all.

I find that very telling.

The fact of the matter is we have a group of doctors who have pledged to stay and if we want a hospital well have to vote for it.

So on with the feasibility study.

A feasibility attempts to answer two main questions: will the idea work, and should you proceed with it?

We already know we have a need for the service.

A feasibility study conducts a preliminary analysis, prepares a projected income statement, and conducts a market survey among other things.

As the days and weeks progress closer to the August election there will be more information given on the hospital project and even more talk at the local restaurants and the good old nod and slobber benches.

Minutes count and births, heart attacks, and car accidents are going to keep on occurring.

Can we all ever agree on the need for a hospital or what price the citizens are willing to pay for one?

Is it feasible?

Well find out on August 7.

See you out there.

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