CCC Hospital to be separate item in current budget battle

Chase County commissioners faced tough decisions at their Aug. 28 board meeting.
    Harold “Pete” Peterson prepared the county’s budget, but was not on hand for the meeting. A letter from Peterson laid out the commissioners’ dilemma.
    The biggest change to the budget was the addition of a tax request from Chase County Community Hospital.
    “In the past, commissioners had set aside money just in case the hospital needed it. Now the hospital will have its  own page in the budget,” according to County Clerk Debbie Clark.
    CCCH CEO Steve Lewis and CFO Abby Cyboron asked for $515,000. Both attended the meeting and were quick to drop their asking amount after Peterson’s letter telling the commissioners to make substantial cuts was read.
    Commissioners Dave Hogsett and Chuck Vette dropped the hospital down to $250,000, then cut $8,700 from Building and Grounds and $15,000 from the Building budget.
    Peterson was on the phone for part of the meeting.
    Following the on-the-fly adjustments, Peterson said taxes will increase $288,010, a levy increase of 2.7 cents.
    Peterson said his biggest fear, after valuations going down this year, is seeing valuations go down again next year. He will continue to crunch numbers before the Sept. 18 budget hearing.
    In other business, the board was visited by Mid-Plains Community College representatives. MPCC requested $50,000 from the county for its Imperial expansion project at the March 27 commissioners’ meeting.

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