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Friday, May 6, 2016

Court seeks tax hike for Fulton hospital

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Staff Writer

Fulton County Quorum Court approved an ordinance to hold a special election April 13 for the levy of a 1/2-percent sales and use tax within Fulton County for the operation and maintenance of Fulton County Hospital.

Fulton County Judge Curren Everett said the Fulton County Hospital Board agreed to pay the costs incurred for the special election.

Hospital administrator Frank Wise said the special election would cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

If the tax is approved the revenue will be used to modernize and expand the present hospital.

The existing facility was constructed in 1963 with multiple additions. The last addition was completed in 1979.

According to the project description report, the current facility does not meet current healthcare and life safety codes. The facility was built prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act and is not as handicapped-friendly as it should be, the report said.

Under a special Medicare program about 70 percent of the building project will be paid for by the federal government, but the county is responsible for 30 percent.

Fulton County Hospital is currently in the process of qualifying for critical access designation.

Congress has recognized the importance of rural hospitals to their communities and has a special program for small hospitals that qualify as critical access hospitals, the report said.

The hospital board told the quorum court that the proposed project will modernize and expand the services to better serve the community in the hopes of attracting physicians with a state-of-the-art facility.

The proposed addition will include a new emergency department, imaging department, new operating rooms with proper support in recovery and outpatient areas and a new admitting, registration and lobby area. The addition would also include a new drive-under entrance canopy. This will allow for easy, out-of-the weather access to the hospital for visitors and patients.

The board is also proposing major remodeling for a modern laboratory and better support areas for visitors including a chapel, gift shop and improved dining.

Depending upon cost, the hospital could also modernize all the patient rooms with new floors, ceilings, handrails, corridor lighting, paint and wall coverings and mechanical systems. New and improved parking lots could also be provided.

The board provided the following breakdown: total project cost $5,923,372; design build cost-base project $5,236,000; furniture $72,190; art work $11,000; moveable medical equipment $156,822; payment and performance bond $52,360; landscaping $30,000; exterior/interior signage $35,000; architectural reimbursable costs, travel and printing of documents $30,000; and construction financing and closing costs $300,000.

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