Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for February 17, 2010
Fredonia Town Council learns of clinic struggles
With four of the six agenda items being tabled for further research and review, the Fredonia Town Council meeting was relatively brief.
It began with an update from Marshal Dan Watson, who recently attended a meeting with Coconino County to discuss state and county budget issues. Watson explained the county is facing a $3.8 million deficit. To offset some of the deficit, the county will be raising property taxes 3.8%. A home worth $300,000 will see an increase of approximately $80 per year. Coconino County was authorized to do this because the state took a substantial amount of money away from them. The county decided to raise property taxes instead of sales tax.
Town Clerk Marilyn Johnson informed the council, however, that the state would be attempting to raise sales tax by 1% in order to “ease the budget crunch.” The election for the increase will be held in May.
Liz Latham, of Canyonlands Community Health Center, attended the Fredonia Town Council meeting Tuesday to discuss the Fredonia Clinic. She approached the council with a request for assistance in finding a board member from the community. She explained that without a board member, Fredonia lacked representation.
Latham stated, “On average, the Fredonia Clinic loses about $10,000 a month.” With reimbursements from Medicare and AHCCCS becoming “iffy,” she did not foresee this improving. “We’re not trying to make money, we just want to break even.”
Council and members of the community in attendance seemed shocked by the statement. Council member Greg Honey said, “The clinic is important to the Town of Fredonia.” He assured Latham they would do whatever they could to assist in finding a board member.
Council member Georgia Heaton asked what the appointment would entail. Latham explained the board met once per month in Page for about two hours, but the representative from Fredonia could attend the meeting via telephone.
The council expressed their concern about the clinic’s financial situation and asked what could be done. Latham said, “tell everyone to use the service.”
All were in agreement it would be a terrible loss to Fredonia if the clinic was unable to remain open. They will do what they can to see that doesn’t happen.