During the July 8 Tyrone Borough Council meeting, borough board members were approached by representatives from the Tyrone Regional Health Network (TRHN) and hospital, asking the board to consider giving the hospital a grant to repair the back road that leads to the hospital. Bill Mayes, a representative of the hospital told the board members that, “Instead of putting a Band Aid on this road, what we would like to do is bring it up to Penn DOT standards and turn it over to Snyder township to maintain.”

According to Anna Anna, the current CEO of the hospital, the TRHN receives a great deal of support from the community, which they are extremely grateful for. Anna continued explaining that they try and repay the generosity in kind, explaining that the hospital tries, “to help our Tyrone residents, as well as other patients, as far as charity goes.”

Anna continued explaining in 2018 alone, the hospital provided $39,000 in charity care to the community. Anna told the board that, “We try to help those patients that can’t meet their health care needs,” going on to explain that the hospital’s charity car makes about 50 trips a week, shuttling local residents back and forth to appointments at the hospital. She continued to explain that the car costs the hospital between $20,000 and $21,000 in operations fees annually.

Mayes added to Anna’s comments, “All they have to do is call and someone will pick them up.”

Despite initial positive reception to the proposal from several board members, Terry Richardson, one of the board members present, explained, “I checked in on this a year ago. I called the Tyrone hospital and they said it is not their road.” Richardson went on to elaborate that he was told by Snyder Twp. that they were looking in on a grant to pay for the work that the road requires.

In response to Richardson, Mayes explained that Snyder Twp. was trying to get a grant to help fix the road. Mayes also explained that the road is now privately owned by the hospital.

David Snyder, another present council member, chimed in, “I am willing to entertain the idea of bringing the road up to Penn DOT standards, with the understanding that Snyder Twp. will take it over once it’s complete.” Snyder went on the explain that he would be willing to overlook boundaries due to the important role the hospital plays in the local community. Snyder also asked if the hospital has received any bids for the road, to which Mayes replied that they haven’t yet.

Following the reply, Snyder continued by asking if a $50,000 one-time gift would be satisfactory, with the understanding that any additional money would have to be raised elsewhere.

At this point, Mayor William Latchford spoke up, asking “If the road project doesn’t go through, would the hospital still use the money for something else?”

Thaddeus Graham, another council member present for the meeting, added, “I would be more comfortable if we included a line in the donation that the money is only for this road project.”

Richardson agreed with Graham and Latchford’s points, adding that, “I want to see in writing that it is the hospital’s road, not Snyder Twp’s.”

Mayes agreed to all of the listed conditions, explaining, “We can find out where the deed is and get that in writing to make sure.”

From there, Mayor Latchford generated a general consensus from those present, with the majority seeming to be in favor of the project moving forward. With that in mind, Latchford asked that the paperwork be started while waiting on confirmation from the hospital.

Additionally, The Daily Herald reported in the July 9 issue that the Tyrone Community Pool will be offering free swim days in July and August. After a brief period of deliberation, the borough has decided to offer free swim days on July 15, July 29, August 5, and August 19. Free swim will be open to all borough residents and will run from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Joe Miller can be reached at jmiller@thedailyherald.net.

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