That’s not to say its members, volunteers all, are any less conscientious or public spirited. They are. But the RHD itself has changed drastically over the years.
The district no longer collects any property tax and, after next month, won’t collect any sales tax either.
Blackhawk Healthcare operates our community’s hospital and clinics. There’s still a relationship between the district and Blackhawk but it’s Blackhawk calling the dayto day shots, as evidenced by the recent layoffs of Richards Memorial Hospital personnel.
Blackhawk is in the process of purchasing those medical facilities outright from the district.
But there’s still some roles for the RHD to play. It oversees the hospital’s assisted living operations, for one.
The most recent hospital district board meeting contained an extremely thoughtful action which needs to be noted and commended. The board has donated to the Milam Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC) the property on which the MARC Center sits.
A little history is in order. When the MARC Center began to plan a move from its old, cramped location on Grace Street a decade ago, it looked for a place to relocate.
Richards Memorial Hospital authorities agreed to let MARC construct its new building on the Pecos Street side of the hospital campus, property owned by the hospital.
A lot has happened since then, most notably the association with Blackhawk and the pending sale of the hospital and its property. RHD directors wondered where that would leave MARC in the future.
So they did something about it. RHD instructed its attorney to “carve out” the center, 0.819 acres from the property, and present it, as a gift, to MARC.
A little thing. Only if you’ve ever been to the MARC Center and seen the invaluable work it does and the smiles on the faces of its clients you know it’s not little at all.
Thanks RHD board. What a nice gesture.—M.B.