The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

September 13, 2013

Simply worth any cost

Everything seems to be getting more expensive, while paychecks just don’t stretch as far. And tax rates are the last thing anyone wants to see increase.

But, when it comes to public safety and health, some expenditures are simply worth the cost.

Consider the proposed Nov. 5 hospital bond election: The $12.3 million bond will allow Hunt Regional Healthcare to construct an ER and outpatient facility in Quinlan and build a similar facility in Commerce to replace the hospital there.

The third floor of the Greenville facility will also be renovated, creating space for a shower and bathroom in each room and an overall more comfortable environment for patients, family and friends.

The average increased cost for residents in the hospital tax district would be $17.50 per year.

As the number of students living in Commerce increases (a new 450+ bed residence hall opened this fall) and the southern part of the county experiences a population growth, the need for these services will only expand.

And, considering the Commerce hospital is both at the end of its life and in a less than prominent location, it’s clear that a move would be beneficial. Both facilities will have ambulance services, which means a ride to the emergency room would be much quicker if you live near Commerce or Quinlan.

Providing emergency services in Commerce and Quinlan will also cut down on the amount of patients the Greenville ER sees — more than 50,000 a year, a number that the hospital says is unsustainable in the long term. Which means that, even if you live in or near Greenville, these two new emergency rooms would make your wait shorter.

One of the inevitable side effects of growth is an increased need for these kinds of services. We believe it is in the best interest of everyone living in Hunt County to vote for the hospital bond.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at editor@heraldbanner.com.

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