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Hospital project wins $2M grant

Proceeds come from energy, minerals production

In addition to a voter-approved sales tax, proceeds from energy and mineral production will also help fund a $14.2 million capital improvement project at Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Announced on Monday, a hospital spokesperson said the $2 million Department of Local Affairs for Energy and Mineral Impact grant was awarded to the Montezuma County Hospital District. The grant will assist in the construction of a state-of-the-art inpatient wing at the 25-bed, critical-access hospital on Mildred Road, as well as an ambulance garage with conference space and rooming quarters for EMS staff.

“The grant was awarded based on a variety of factors such as its connection to energy impact, degree of need, measurable outcomes, amount of request, relationship to community goals, level of local match, community support, management capacity and readiness to go,” hospital spokesperson Haley Leonard stated in news release.

Funding for the Energy and Mineral Impact assistance program comes from the state severance tax on energy and mineral production and from a portion of the state’s share of royalties paid to the federal government for mining and drilling of minerals and mineral fuels on federal land.

In November, county voters approved the hospital district’s request for a limited sales and use tax by a 3-2 margin to overhaul the 40-year-old medical facility. Construction on the three-year project is expected to start in March.

Throughout the sales tax campaign initiative, officials emphasized that the expansion and facilities upgrade was crucial to modernizing the county’s health-care infrastructure.

The 0.4 percent tax – 4 cents per every $10 – would be applied to money spent in Montezuma County but would exclude certain items like most food purchased in grocery stores, prescription drugs, residential utilities and nonlicensed farm equipment.

Health-care officials have said that they also plan to apply for a USDA loan to pay for $6.6 million of the project.

Denver-based firm Davis Partnership Architects is charged with designing the expansion.

The Southwest Health System operates Southwest Memorial Hospital and nine affiliated outpatient clinics in Montezuma County and employs over 400 people.

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