Support the hospital’s mil levy |

Support the hospital’s mil levy

Dear Editor:

As community members, we are writing in support of one of our community’s most essential community resources – the hospital.

Aspen Valley Hospital is currently conducting a mail-in ballot for both the re-election of three board members and the reauthorization of the existing mil levy for another five years. This election is very important to the hospital and the mission it serves because the current mil levy it has received as a special district for the past 15 years is due to expire at the end of 2010.

We are asking for the community’s support to continue the levy for an additional five years at the same rate that it has always been. The exception is that, for the past few years, the hospital board reduced the levy to off-set property value increases. The mil levy supports the hospital and the important work that it does as a community medical resource; it is not used to service existing debt or pay for pending facilities renovations.

Our hospital provides quality health care that is consistently ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country as measured by patient satisfaction scores, and it provides the breadth of technologies and services that are very uncommon for a community of our size. The hospital has been careful to remain price competitive and to have only the services necessary to meet the needs of our local community, recognizing the availability of higher level services on a more regional and statewide basis. Aspen needs a hospital that can provide accessible and quality care to our full-time residents and visitors alike, as an important part of the quality of life that we enjoy in Aspen and the surrounding area. We treasure our community-owned asset and believe we need to continue to support it with a mil levy renewal.

We understand that these are difficult economic times and that the opportunity to reduce our property taxes, by even a small amount, is an attractive opportunity. However, the relatively small amount of our property taxes that the hospital represents (about 3 percent) is not the place to make a change. We have held our hospital board and administration accountable with our money, and they have demonstrated strong fiscal management over the past five years as they recovered from a calamitous financial situation. Let’s not pull the rug out from under them now.

For more information about the hospital mil levy, please refer to the GrassRoots website at and look for the special episode of Medicine in the Mountains that is dedicated to the subject.

Howie Malory and Pete Louras

chairman and treasurer, Citizens for Sustainable Healthcare

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