Church Point voters decide on new hospital and property tax

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CHURCH POINT, La. (KLFY) — Saturday, August 15, voters in Church Point will decide whether or not to contribute more taxes toward a new hospital.

The Acadia St. Landry Hospital is 52 years old, but a vote Saturday could build a new one in 2022.

“It’s been around a long time,” admits Frank Richard. He has lived in the area his whole life and remembers the hospital’s construction when he was in the hospital.

The people of Church Point recognize a new hospital with new technology would be a big help to the small city.

“Not to say this hospital doesn’t have it, but a new hospital and new equipment I think it would benefit the community,” Richard said.

The Acadia St. Landry Hospital messaging agrees. The hospital’s campaign across town promises “Peace of mind for emergencies and pandemics”, “More access to more physicians”, etc.

-Acadia St. Landry Hospital

District 4 Church Point Alderman Chris Lebas told News 10, “I really feel like this might be the biggest economic development for Church Point possibly since the railroad came to town.”

Lebas believes the $35M construction project will bring an economic boost to the citizens who would fund 11% of the construction budget with a 10 mill property tax. Their yes vote would replace a 7.64 mil property tax currently funding the hospital.

-Acadia St. Landry Hospital

Lebas admitted he has heard criticism from some property owners and said, “Nobody wants a new tax, you know? None of us want to pay more, but when you see the benefits and what we’re going to get on that tax, I think it’s a great investment,”

The 10 mil tax would last 10 years collecting an estimated $375K collected each year.

“I would vote for it,” admitted Richard. “It’s not much more than the current tax is right now on it.”

Lebas added, “A new hospital. It’s not very often you hear of that in the news, so I’m thrilled to death, and I think it will be a huge benefit not only to the town of Church Point, but even in Rayne, Crowley, and Eunice, even Opelousas.”

The general election is Saturday, August 15, from 7 A.M. To 8 P.M. at your local polling place.

The ballot reads as so:
“Shall Acadia-St. Landry Hospital Service District of the Parishes of Acadia and St. Landry, State of Louisiana (the “District”) levy and collect a special ad valorem tax of ten (10) mills on all the property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $375,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year) for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2020 and ending with the year 2029, for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, equipping, maintaining and/or operating new and existing hospital, health care and related facilities of the District and recruiting physicians and other health care professionals therefore, said tax to be in lieu of and replace an ad valorem tax authorized at an election held in said District on November 19, 2011 to be levied in the District through the year 2022 and currently being levied at a rate of 7.64 mills?”

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