This letter is in reference to the front page story of the July 16 edition of the Bee-Picayune titled “Hospital funds needed to help balance budget”.
I feel the public needs to be informed on the most important part of my proposal to the court in reference to the Christus Spohn Hospital lease that was omitted from the article. I advocated a 70/30 percent offer (currently there is $3.6 million in the funds). Meaning that 70 percent of future lease money would stay “as is” for continued improvements and upkeep of hospital and health care issues. That would amount to around $700,000 per year. The 30 percent would be released for general fund use. That would amount to around $300,000 per year. It will take the county a minimum of three consecutive years of raising taxes higher in order to get where it needs to be financially (a good fund balance, needed capital outlay and employee pay raises).
I certainly support Christus Spohn Hospital and its presence in Bee County. They have been an excellent hospital, good neighbors and are an asset to our community. I support the use of lease money revenue for the improvement of the hospital and health care issues. I also support using a small percent of the lease money revenue for our general fund. I feel there is enough lease money paid yearly to meet those goals and, at the same time, give the county coffers a much needed relief and not put all the burden on the taxpayers in the form of higher taxes to fund our county government.
Carlos Salazar Jr.
Commissioner, Pct. 1,