Public hearing on hospital boundary move set for Ninilchik

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to show that South Peninsula Hospital’s revenues would be reduced under the new service areas.

The public will get a chance to air concerns about moving the boundary line between the peninsula’s two hospital service areas at a public hearing in Ninilchik next Thursday.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is planning to host a hearing at the Ninilchik School’s gymnasium at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26, to receive testimony on a proposed ordinance to move the boundary line between the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area and the South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area. If the assembly approves the ordinance as written, the line would move south to approximately Oil Well Road in Ninilchik from its current location at the Clam Gulch Tower.

Under the proposed new areas, South Peninsula Hospital’s revenues would be reduced by approximately $447,856 annually based on current taxable values and the current mill rate in the service area, according to a financial analysis provided to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Bagley wrote in his memo with the ordinance that it can be assumed most people north of the line regularly use Central Peninsula Hospital rather than South Peninsula Hospital and thus should be paying taxes to that service area. It would provide a significant tax cut for the residents in the area — Central Peninsula Hospital’s mill rate is .01 mills, translating to about 1 cent on every $1,000 of property value, while South Peninsula Hospital’s is 2.3 mills, or about $2.30 on every $1,000 of property value.

The meeting in Ninilchik is meant to gather input from anyone with an interest, according to the meeting announcement. The assembly will also take comment at its regular meeting on May 1, when it will next hear the ordinance.

If the assembly passes the ordinance, it will go to the voters in the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area as well as those in the proposed new area in the Oct. 2, 2018 regular election for approval.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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