In October, the longtime owner of Rick's Food Store in La Crosse announced that due to personal reasons, he would be forced to close the store at the end of 2018 if a buyer cannot be found. Rick's Food Store is the only grocery store in the county of approximately 3500 people. With over 25 percent of the county's population being 65 years of age or older, the store is a necessary part of the county's economy. Without a full-line grocery store, some residents have stated that they may be forced to move away.
To seek options to keep the store open, Rush County Economic Development held a community meeting on October 29. Over 75 residents filled the conference room of the museum and by the end of the meeting, several options had been presented and citizens pledged to support the store. Ideas were narrowed down to two options. Option 1 calls for community residents to pitch in financially to help a local individual to purchase and operate the store. Option 2 calls for either the local industrial committee or another group to acquire the building and fixtures so that existing store owner can expand into the La Crosse location requiring an initial investment limited to inventory, licensing, and operating cash. A third option, constructing a new building to house a store operated by a small chain was also considered, but due to time constraints, the idea was not brought under serious consideration for the present.
A second meeting was scheduled for November 26 after the ED Director and local committee have had time to research options. Just prior to the meeting, the ED Director received notification from an interested buyer for the store. With assistance from Rush County Industrial Development, the buyer was able to take over operation on January 1, 2019 and Rush County Grocery became a reality. The new owner increased the inventory and made a number of positive changes.
Today, thanks to the generosity and overwhelming support of community members, Rush County Grocery is once again serving the county well.
Rush County Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital located in La Crosse, Kansas. The hospital is a component unit of Rush County, Kansas and the Board of County Commissioners appoints members of the board of trustees of the hospital. The hospital primarily earns revenues by providing inpatient, outpatient, emergency care, and residential long-term care services to patients in the Rush County, Kansas area. Approximately 4% of the hospital's total revenue is derived from intergovernmental revenue derived from property taxes.
For more information, contact Rush County Memorial Hospital at 785-222-2545 or visit the website.
Rush County Memorial Hospital Economic Impact Statement - 2008
Rush County Memorial Hospital has an employment of 64 people with an annual payroll of approx. $2,000,000 making it one of the largest employers in Rush County. A majority of these people live in Rush County and pay taxes.
Last year 7565 patient days, 61,102 procedures and 5,634 clinic visits were performed at RCMH. From these services, money for patient co-payments remains in the county along with insurance reimbursements. This brings additional dollars into the hospital that are distributed back into the economy as salaries, utilities, supplies and repairs by county businesses. This creates an economic boost that can ultimately soften the burden on local taxpayers.
The proposed remodeling will modernize the building creating a virtually new facility and dramatically reduce costs for maintenance and repair. Without the bond issue, if major repairs or improvements are needed or mandated, current finances may be unable to meet the cost and necessitate an increase in the hospital mill levy.
By updating its facilities, RCMH has a better chance of attracting doctors and other professional staff to Rush County. This generates additional revenue that increases the need for support staff, in turn increasing payroll and contributing more dollars to the economy.
The proposed bond issue will benefit Rush County and create jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. Bond issues inject money into the local economy through construction jobs, supplies, and temporary housing. Studies have also concluded that for every job created by a project, one or more additional jobs are created within the economy due to the multiplier effect.
In 2016, all postal boxholders of Rush County were sent an eight page survey. The intention was to gather information from residents and businesses to ascertain where communities see themselves and what direction Rush County Economic Development should potentially follow.