Groundbreaking ensures solid future for area

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The historic groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital and clinic in Custer Oct. 27 is a huge deal for the community and Custer County area in general. The long-anticipated start in construction for the $18.425 million health care facilities will ensure a solid economic future for the entire Custer County region.

People desire a number of amenities when they live in or move to a community the size of Custer. Quality medical facilities and good schools rank at the very top. Older folks nearing or at retirement age are mostly interested in health care facilities, while younger people are concerned their children will be enrolled in a quality educational system like the one we have in the Custer School District.

Custer may now have both, but the brand new hospital and clinic and their ancillary wellness services will greatly enhance health care opportunities for all area residents and visitors. After all, a hospital, especially a new, modern one, is the very lifeblood of any community. It is the main reason so many elderly people choose to retire and live here. They know they can rely on receiving quality health care from professional, compassionate providers.

We are fortunate in that our local health care facilities are part of the larger Rapid City Regional Hospital network that includes most of the Black Hills. If a special procedure is deemed necessary, it can be found only a few miles away in Rapid City. These same specialists will be making regular visits here once we have the new facilities up and running.

Regional Health will own the new hospital and clinic due to its $14.425 million financial commitment to the $18.425 million project. Custer City still has a good amount of skin in this $18+ million project as well. The community is earmarking $4 million over the next several years toward this project through a continuation of payments from its sales tax capital fund.

It was good to see such a great turnout of hospital employees, city and county officials, along with business people and members of the public at the Oct. 27 groundbreaking. The crowd of several hundred people was treated to a number of short, informative talks from Regional and local hospital officials.

Everyone seems to grasp the importance of a new hospital and clinic being constructed in Custer. Local residents can rest more easily now that they see their future health care needs will be met with added staff and facilities. Those contemplating a move to Custer or Custer County will have an additional important reason to relocate here.

The future of our community looks bright, indeed!

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