Locals gather to promote voters to say ‘yes’
By Taylor Hale and Katelyn Voorhies
STEVENS POINT – Residents gathered on April 1 in front of the Portage County Health Care Center in Stevens Point to encourage onlookers to vote “yes” to a referendum that passed on April 5, allowing a property tax increase that would see the county build and run a new facility.
The property tax raise breaks down to roughly $6 a month for those it would impact, a cost roughly 59 percent of voters feel is worth the price. The referendum will provide roughly $4.5 million to aid in funding the new facility.
The health center was built in the 1930s and has seen few upgrades since the 1970s. Many have outwardly noted that the facilities are in grave need of upgrades and support. The new facilities would have larger rooms, private bathrooms, and updated medical and living accommodations.
Nancy Roppe helped organize the vigil to help inform the public before the April vote.
“We’re not trying to save an old building, we’re trying to save an iconic institution with a 100-year legacy,” Roppe said.
Also in attendance at the event was former resident Karlene Ferrante.
“I was a resident for five years ago. I was lucky enough to come here. The important thing when you get out of surgery is you have a good place in town to go to. That is what I had. We need to pass this referendum to keep it going,” Ferrante said.
CNA Cindy Glodoski also came out to show her support. She has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry and hopes to see the country receive a new facility.
“People matter, all ages matter, and we need to be there for them,” Glodoski explained. “We need to support those who supported us. We need to protect the elderly and the disabled and anybody who needs us. It matters and we love what we do.”
The referendum vote passed with over 9,900 voting in favor of the project.