On Aug. 17, primary voters across Park County will decide whether to approve a $14.2 million capital facilities tax to help fund major renovation and construction at West Park Hospital. The measure would be funded by a temporary 1-cent sales tax on …
West Park Hospital is encouraging Powell residents to learn more about its modernization project at a pair of meetings in coming weeks.On July 28 and Aug. 3, West Park staff and elected trustees will present information and answer questions about proposed upgrades to the Cody hospital. Both upcoming presentations will be held in Fagerberg Room 70 at Northwest College. The presentation on the 28th is scheduled from 3-5 p.m., while the presentation on the 3rd is slated for 5:30-7 p.m.
On Aug. 17, primary voters across Park County will decide whether to approve a $14.2 million capital facilities tax to help fund major renovation and construction at West Park Hospital. The measure would be funded by a temporary 1-cent sales tax on purchases in the county.
The total project cost is $26.2 million, with the remaining $12 million coming from the hospital's reserve accounts.
More than 110,000 square feet of space would be added or renovated by the project, upgrading and adding to West Park's emergency, laboratory and imaging departments and creating separate entrances and pathways for visitors and patients and doctors. Additionally, the project would include shelled-in space to add more patient rooms later.
Among other concerns, West Park officials say their current facilities, more than 30 years old, are outdated and crowded, breeching patients' privacy.
The $26.2 million project is the second phase of a three-phase plan to modernize the hospital.
Phase one, which was funded independently, involved the construction of the Cathcart Medical Center on Cody's West Strip, providing new, expanded office space for West Park's medical providers.
The second phase — the 110,000 square foot renovation and expansion currently up for voters' consideration — will include demolishing the old office space, the deteriorating Coe Medical Center. If approved by voters next month, the work on this second phase would begin this fall and finish up about two years later.
The third phase, to be done at a later date, will include relocating patient rooms and the kitchen — moving it closer to the Long Term Care Center, where most of the hospital's meals are served.
The hospital generally plans to fund the third phase internally, with the project able to be broken down into smaller portions and completed as money allows.
If county voters pass the $14.2 million facilities tax next month, West Park Hospital will receive an additional $1 million grant from the State Loan and Investment Board.
West Park Community Relations Coordinator Joel Hunt said the $1 million would go toward the hospital's $12 million share of the construction project currently before voters or toward phase three improvements.
The state grant wasn't approved until after the ballot language for the proposed $14.2 million capital facilities tax had been approved by the county's governments, Hunt said. State statute says that once finalized, ballot language can't be changed. Unfortunately, Hunt said, that prohibited West Park officials from going back and reducing the $14.2 million request by the $1 million awarded by the state board.
Officials from the hospital have been out in the community giving educational presentations on the proposal.