Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Town Hall Meeting About Hospital Vote Held in Exeter

Artist rendering of what the new Fillmore County Hospital could look like.
Front entrance of proposed hospital artist rendering.

Fillmore County Hospital CEO Paul Utemark answers audience questions during an Exeter Town Hall Meeting.

There was a packed house for the Exeter Town Hall Meeting about the Hospital Vote.

Exeter residents and interested parties packed the Exeter Fire Hall on Wednesday evening to hear more about the proposed new hospital vote on August 10th.

Paul Utemark, CEO of Fillmore County Hospital, presented information on the proposed vote. After the presentation (which is covered in a prior article on the blog) Utemark took questions and comments from the audience.

Utemark stated the Hospital board "has no intention to raise the property tax of Fillmore County residents."

He reminded the audience that "there are a lot of good things going on at your hospital."

There were many positive comments from audience members and community leaders.

Several of the concerns were addressed in regards to the proposed site of the new hospital. It is near Highway 81 and also adjacent to a pig farm. Both issues were not a concern because the hospital has an air quality control system and is well insulated to eliminate noises. It was adjacent to old Highway 81 for many years and never had noise issues.

P.R. Farmer, well known Geneva funeral home director, voiced his support for the new hospital. He spoke of the financial stability of the hospital and the current availability of the USDA loan, "It's not just an opportunity, it's the perfect storm. It's cheap money for a long duration."

Dr. Hollis, a physician with the clinic working out of the hospital, touted the benefits of a larger emergency room. He spoke of a recent trauma where the trauma room was swamped with people tripping over each other inefficiently, "It is not anywhere near optimal to do what we want to do. We have to empty out the clinic parking lot when a helicopter comes. This will help in recruiting new doctor's in the future."

Christin Lovegrove, member of the Young Leaders of Fillmore County voiced her support for the hospital program and challenged the older crowd attending the meeting, "It is adequate but is that good enough for your kids and grandkids?"

Fillmore County residents will decide on August 10th at the pools.

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