August 20, 2014

City to study Sakakawea Medical Center funding request

By Lee Coleman

The Hazen city commission met Monday night and began earnest discussions on a request from the Sakakawea Medical Center Capital Campaign Committee to donate a $250,000 gift to aid in the costs associated with the planned expansion of the medical center.
“They have given us every reason why it is a viable situation to help in the capital campaign,” said Mayor Jerry Obenauer. “Our donation would set the bar as the committee goes to other places.”
At the last commission meeting, the committee requested $250,000 as part of nearly $4.1 million the committee wants to raise.
“The gift from the city will help set the tone for the rest of the campaign,” said SMC CEO Darrold Bertsch, present at Monday’s meeting.
Key for the commission is finding where the money can be taken out of the city budget.
City Auditor Monte Erhardt suggested some money could be taken from the RV Park budget but otherwise, he said the city will have to tighten their belts to make it happen over the five-year payment period offered by the Capital Campaign committee at the last meeting.
“I don’t want to have to tighten our belts to make a donation,” said Commissioner Nancy Wolf.
City Attorney Pat Donovan cautioned the commission on a potential downfall of taking money from the budget.


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