By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

'Vote Yes Valley View' Gains Ground


The campaign “Vote Yes Valley View” has made headway in their efforts to pass a special hospital tax district for Valley View Home. As of press time, the organization has held six informational meetings in Opheim, Nashua, Fort Peck, Hinsdale, Frazer and at Valley View Home, with meetings still to come in St. Marie, Glasgow (during the NE Montana Fair) and Lustre. The organization has also acquired over 200 signatures towards the 600 to 800 needed to add the measure to next year’s Spring ballot.

According to Petition Chair for the Valley View Long Term Care Task Force Mary Armstrong, the meetings have been well attended and engaging with attendees, having the opportunity to go in-depth on questions and have discussions to gain information and talk through the issue. She pointed out that the number one question asked is, “What is the money going to be used for?” Her answer was that the funds collected from the tax district can only be used for operations and maintenance and not for capitol gains. She also emphasized that the district will be overseen by a board of trustees who will oversee the district and adjust the tax revenue according to need, but not exceeding the 10 mils.

The second question, according to Armstrong, has been, “How do we know this facility is heading in the right direction?” Armstrong’s answered, “The community needs to stay involved with Valley View Home. It is not about just passing a tax district, its about staying involved so the home is properly supported by the community. So how do we know? Stay involved.”

Armstrong also described a, “really great turnout,” at the BBQ and open house on July 19. Organizers said there were 230 people who were served pulled pork, baked beans, watermelon and red velvet cupcakes. Guests were present from all over Valley County, and the event was highlighted by live music and perfect weather. The event was made possible by volunteers from the Kiwanis, Valley View and Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Boards, the Long Term Care Task Force and community members.

Armstrong did point out that concerns exist about the establishment of a permanent tax district. She responded to those concerns by emphasizing that Valley County is the last of 18 rural counties to establish a permanent district, which she viewed as a compliment to Valley View Home’s long standing trust. “It is a compliment that Valley View Home has stayed afloat independently as long as it did.” She added that the facility is now running as efficiently as it can.

Armstrong’s stake in this is both professional, as a Boeing executive and long standing Valley County resident, and personal, as a family member of a resident. She commented that the vote may be difficult for some, but was obvious for those involved in the process and the home commenting that, “the bottom line for me is that we will have a successful vote.”


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