Commission declines hospital moratorium

City leaders agree special counsel needed to address concerns

HERINGTON — On a 3-2 vote the Herington city commission declined a request by Commissioner Eric Gares to impose a moratorium on Herington Hospital.

Gares had called a special meeting for Dec. 29. In his letter calling for the meeting, which was read aloud by Mayor Debra Urbanek, Gares said the topic of the special session would be “to discuss and consider a resolution giving non-binding recommendations to the Herington Municipal Hospital board of trustees, regarding the operation of and postponing of such operations and services at the Hillsboro Health Clinic.”

“I would expect a discussion and decision on a resolution regarding a few recommendations of the governing body. Those recommendations would be to postpone the acceptance of and making any additional appointments of current or new patients of the HIllsboro Health Clinic. Additionally, a recommendation to postpone any remodeling and or construction to Hillsboro health clinic and to begin notification of all current patients on the HIllsboro Health Clinic of the current situation being outside of the bounds of the authority of the Herington Municipal Hospital,” the letter read in part.

Upon the request, City Attorney Brad Jantz developed three resolutions. One of them being the request for a moratorium on any and all extra-territorial expansion. It would not shut down the Hillsboro Clinic down but it would put forth the request that all further development be put on hold, Gares said.

“That moratorium just states‘Don’t do anything else extra territorially — come to us for review on extraterritoriality things,’” he said. “It doesn’t stop them from doing ... any remodeling here in town. It doesn’t stop them from doing their remodeling they’re already working on in Hillsboro. It doesn’t stop anything. It just basically states ‘Don’t do anything more.’”

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