Updated 8/23/16 at 2:16pm.
In order to keep its doors open, Ellwood City Hospital is still in search of a partnership.
This alone is a concerning topic considering that it’s the closest hospital for Ellwood and surrounding area residents, however, many residents are equally concerned that if the hospital closes they may see an even greater hike in their personal electric bills.
The hospital generates a lot of revenue for the borough, if it is to close, it will no longer provide a large portion of the electric revenue. For community members, the impact this will have on the already increasing electric bills is feared.
There was a recent post on the Facebook group, Standing up to Ellwood Electric, that sparked a lot of fuss over the hot topic, one commenter even suggesting the possible use of solar panels. The post stated “one of the many things that I had learned on Monday’s meeting with Council, is that if the Ellwood Hospital should close, that we have not even seen the worst of the electric bills.”
Another angry civilian commented “how does a town think it can run and pay for things from the electric fund? The electric we pay for should just be for the electric we use and other things related to electric period.”
We asked the council president, Connie MacDonald, about the concerned topic.
Foremost, Macdonald wants to assure the community that the increase in electric is not due to increased spending for the borough and it’s strictly due to the electric company’s increased transmission costs.
In response to the question regarding if residents would indeed be affected by the hospital closing, he stated “sure they would, when a big customer like that closes it impacts the entire community. In this specific instance there would be fewer kilowatt hours to spread out, causing the residents to pick up the extra burden.”
He also mentioned the actual impact of the hospital closing is not known at this time, however, he believes it would not be a major difference for community members.
MacDonald urges the community to focus on the positive rather than the negative; he reminded that the hospital is still in operation at this time and encourages the use of “any medical services they provide” in an attempt to help support the facility and ensure it remains open.