BOCC raises tentative millage

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 09:54 AM.

Discussions between the BOCC and Sacred Heart officials have gone on for some 18 months, Commissioner Ward McDaniel said, without a resolution on those types of ambulance runs.

“We have an institution that uses this service that doesn’t want to pay us,” McDaniel said. “We don’t owe it to them. It’s not right for us to foot the bill.”

County staff is recommending approaching the citizen board overseeing disbursement of the half-cent sales tax dollars collected to address care for the indigent and underinsured to take out $70,000 for this year and an equal amount for the coming year.

Sacred Heart has argued before that very health board that sales tax collections are below projections found in an agreement between the hospital and county implementing the sales tax and that the hospital will lose some $6 million this year, county attorney Jeremy Novak said.

Commissioners, by a 3-2 vote with Commissioners Tan Smiley and Carmen McLemore dissenting, also added $40,000 to the budget to hire a GIS consultant to begin the demographic study required to begin bringing the county into compliance on districting.

That is the first step suggested by a consultant if the BOCC seeks to bring back countywide voting.

Last month consulting attorney Michael Spellman recommended the GIS study, by an independent GIS expert, to study of the county’s demographics, urging the BOCC to take steps toward bringing the county into compliance with state laws on counting inmates as part of the population.

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