By ABBY SOUZA
The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted yesterday to give Tuolumne General Hospital $1 million to balance its budget.
In a presentation from hospital Administrator Barry Woerman and TGH's Chief Financial Officer Kent Johnson, supervisors were shown a graph of contributions and loans the county has given TGH since 1997.
The chart shows TGH received no new loans so far this year and none will be needed next year. But the county has given the hospital about $3 million that is not expected to be repaid, including the $1 million promised yesterday.
Several supervisors were optimistic about a fiscal U-turn at the county-owned hospital.
"What we're looking at is a trend," Supervisor Dick Pland said, mentioning that is what he has wanted to see.
Supervisor Paolo Maffei said the hospital's turnaround is good.
"There's no reason to say we can't get back to where we were," Maffei said.
However, the chart shows a county contribution of $2 million will be needed next year.
"That still seems like quite a lot to me," Supervisor Jim Peterson said.
Woerman and Johnson were asked if the amount needed from the county would drop in future years. Given the general economy's shaky state, Johnson said he couldn't begin to predict that far ahead.
Chairman Mark Thornton was less optimistic than his fellow supervisors.
"The bottom line is, we're going to have a medical service that costs $2 million a year," Thornton said.
He said the county should find other revenue sources for the hospital or other county programs in order to keep funding TGH.
"TGH hasn't aggressively pursued other revenue sources," Thornton said.