Letter: Town needs hospital

I recently received my mail-in voting ballot for the Rangely District Hospital and have carefully considered my obligation to return the ballot in favor of building the new hospital. Many people, particularly with the current economy, might be questioning the added taxes that this will result in, and this is understandable. Certainly, no one enjoys paying more taxes, but the idea of being without the services they sustain are unthinkable and as residents of this community we have an obligation to pay for all of the service we have come to take for granted. Within recent years our community has been proactive enough to approve taxes for much needed improvements for our recreation center and schools and it is now time to continue to keep our community viable by voting for our new hospital.
As a construction business owner, I understand the importance of keeping equipment updated and having an ongoing business strategy to keep competitive. Our current hospital has used up most of its ability to operate in today’s climate and we are in danger of losing the facility due to its current condition. Even though when you walk through the doors it appears that everything is in great condition, these are only cosmetic and the problems are far beyond what you actually see. They cannot continue to operate in the current building much longer.
I have heard many people comment that the hospital is just a glorified first-aid station and that they just “ship” people out. This may be true to some point, but if you, your loved one, friend or employee is in need of life-saving treatments, you may take comfort in the fact that we do have this facility. Stop and think what you would actually do in such a situation if we did not have a hospital. I know personally that there can be no greater feeling of comfort when seeing the ambulance or pulling up to the emergency room door and having competent people and facilities immediately at your side to assistance you.
It is my hope that the voters of this community would also not confuse “personnel or employee” issues with actual building needs. Having an issue with a person working at the hospital is not the same as having a deteriorating building to contend with.
It is my hope that the people of this community would take the time to cast their vote in support of the new hospital that we need to keep this town, county, and businesses ranging from our oil fields, coal mines and ranches to our schools and all local businesses a viable community. A town needs certain entities to remain feasible and a hospital should be ranked at the top of the list.
We live in a great town, county, state and nation. We are allowed to have elections to control the issues that can directly impact our lives. Please take advantage of this and vote.
Larry “Bud” Striegel
Rangely