Hospital renewal tax OK’d

Heather Regan White / The American Press

 

The West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital District’s 6.95-mill tax renewal received 80 percent approval in Saturday’s election.

The tax, to be levied over a 10-year period, will be capped and will be rolled back at the renewal date, contingent on maintaining 90-100 days of operating expenses through the renewal date. Until last year, the district’s millage rate was 9.3. But in December a $25 million bond issue — $10 million levied in 2006 and $15 million in 2008 — expired. Only the 6.95 mills remains.

The tax is for maintaining, operating and improving the hospital’s facilities. None of the funds will be used for salaries.

Hospital CEO Janie Fruge has said the privatization of Moss Regional in 2013 created a spike in the level of uncompensated care the hospital provides.

The hospital district includes Calcasieu Parish Wards 4 and 7 and Cameron Parish Ward 6, Precincts 3 and 4. The tax amounts to $1.35 a month for voters with homes valued at $100,000-$150,000.

In the Sulphur City Council District 5 runoff Mandy Thomas defeated Geritt Lawrence with 62 percent of the vote, or 463 votes to Lawrence’s 284.

Elsewhere in Calcasieu Parish, a 5-mill renewal for Ward 6 Community Center and Playground District 1 was approved by 144 votes, or 71 percent, to 60 “no” votes, or 29 percent.

Mandy Thomas was the winner in the City Council runoff.

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