Urgent care on West End is in limbo

MONTROSE — To maintain urgent care after regular weekday hours and on weekends at the Basin Clinic on the West End of Montrose County, additional funding needs to be appropriated after voters there rejected a sales tax increase to keep the clinic operational during off-hours.

The clinic is one of two operated and funded by the Montrose Memorial Hospital. The other is in Olathe.

On Tuesday, West End voters rejected measure 2A, a proposed 1 percent sales tax to fund the clinic after hours and on weekends. The measure fell on a 95–75 vote, which came on the heels of a new lease transferring control of the county-owned hospital to private, nonprofit Montrose Memorial Hospital Inc.

“The failure of the sales tax vote may require that the hospital cough up more money to maintain services at its current level,” MMHI board chairman Stephen Glasmann said.

Glasmann said West End residents always have been supportive of maintaining urgent-care service, and he could not theorize why the measure failed.

The clinic currently is funded by a 1 percent sales tax that will expire Jan. 1. Glasmann said the MMHI board of directors is researching grant money and its 2012 budget to determine how to fund the clinic during off-hours.

Since the new lease took effect, the hospital is operating as a nonprofit, tax-exempt facility, which in years past received taxpayer support from Montrose County. Montrose County Commissioner Ron Henderson said it is too early to tell if the hospital will continue to receive financial support because the county remains in litigation against the hospital’s board or trustees.

Hospital CEO Dave Hample said the facility receives monthly contributions from the county totaling $22,500 to help operate the two clinics.  The amount needed to keep the Basin Clinic open after hours and on weekends is somewhere around $200,000, according to Hample.


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