The Pawhuska Hospital came to the city council in late 2020 asking for a one cent increase in sales tax in an effort to help the hospital financially. In turn, that increase would raise taxes on Pawhuska residents, something Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden doesn't want to see. In an effort to find other ways to help fund the hospital, First Physicians Capital Group CEO Jeff Hill explained how his group operates hospitals in Fairfax, Anadarko and Stroud.
Virden made it clear that the reason for the meeting was to find other possible ways to help the hospital and inform the public about the upcoming vote on Tuesday.
If the proposal were to pass, the hospital estimates they would generate in excess of $400,000 a year. The hospital has 25 beds and 113 employees. When asked at a recent city council meeting if the hospital would close its doors if the proposal failed, a representative from the hospital said they had no plans to do so.
There were no representatives present from the Pawhuska Hospital, citing they didn't receive an invitation and had they showed up to the meeting, it could come across as showing up in an unfriendly way. Wednesday afternoon's meeting was open to the public.