Hanover: Tossing more money at facility

It may have gotten lost in the Hanover sewer plant discussions, but it did catch the attention of this corner.

Last week, during a public hearing in the town regarding the plant’s future, town Supervisor Todd Johnson made a remark regarding the future of Lake Shore Hospital. Since the hospital is a vital annual user of the sewer system, its future is important in moving forward.

Johnson said this regarding the Irving facility: “There are still no guarantees that the hospital will stay open, but based on my meetings with hospital officials and our state and federal government officials, I believe Lake Shore is here for the long haul. It is my opinion that Lake Shore will be here and Brooks will not,” he said.

With the two health-care entities now separated, there is no way of knowing what the future holds. However, we do know Lake Shore has done a whole lot, even before the partnership in 2008 with Brooks, to put itself in this emergency situation. Its spending ran roughshod. Its financials were deplorable – and no one ever did anything about it.

In the past year, Brooks has funneled millions to keep TLC running. Now, a $7 million federal grant is available for Lake Shore, which has rarely shown itself to be financially capable.

Currently, a small board – made up of three people – is making major decisions for a $40 million facility. That number is too small for the community Lake Shore represents.

Johnson may be correct. TLC may be here for the long haul if tax dollars keep getting thrown at the facility to keep it open.

But it does nothing to solve the problem of annual operating deficits at the facility.