Monticello-Big Lake Community Hospital District filings close; City of Otsego representative doesn’t file for re-election

The filing period for four township positions and one city position on the Monticello-Big Lake Community Hospital District Board closed Tuesday night with a couple of surprises.

Rob VanDenBerg, who represents Otsego, did not file for re-election, leaving that board seat open in this November’s general election.

In Becker Township, Mark Swanson was the only candidate to file; incumbent Bob Dawson did not seek re-election.

Persons elected this year will elected for a term of four years, commencing in January 2015 with the exception of the Township of Silver Creek, which has a two-year term.

Persons elected on Nov. 4 will be issued a certificate of election, and will be required to file an oath and acceptance of office in order to qualify for office. Once qualified, the term begins for officers elected at the General Election on the first Monday in January 2015.

Any person can file who will be at least 21 years of age on Jan. 1, 2015.  Candidates must reside within the city or township which they seek to represent.

Candidates for the Member-at-Large positions must reside within any city or township within the district. Candidates can only file for one position. An affidavit must be filed and can be obtained from the clerk of the city or township in which a candidate resides.

A hospital board candidate must file with the city or township clerk within the filing period.

The following incumbent Monticello-Big Lake Community Hospital District board members serving in seats up for election this fall all filed: Big Lake Township, Richard Helms; Monticello Township, Candy Benoit and Silver Creek Township, Brian Doyle.

For the first 39 years of its history, CentraCare Health – Monticello operated as Monticello-Big Lake Hospital.

In 2009, the board voted to change the name to New River Medical Center to more accurately reflect the organization’s position as a regional health care service provider and to encompass a broader geographic area.

According to a history posted on CentraCare’s Monticello website, the hospital was part of a hospital district that was formed in 1961 as the result of many years of work by community members who were concerned about the future of health care in the Monticello area.

The district that was originally formed included the villages of Monticello and Big Lake and the townships of Becker, Big Lake, Monticello and Silver Creek. The then township of Otsego was officially annexed into the district in 1962.

Monticello Hospital Board
Monticello-Big Lake Community Hospital Board

To become a member of the hospital district, each village or township board had to pass a resolution proclaiming their intent to join the district and then hold a special election if so petitioned by their constituents. Elected board members began meeting in 1961 to make plans to build a hospital that would serve the area’s health needs.

In order to fund the construction and equipping of a new hospital building, the hospital district asked voters to approve a general obligation bond that would be used to acquire hospital facilities and provide adequate working capital.

Construction of the new hospital building began in March of 1964 and the new hospital was opened for patient care on July 1, 1965.

On April 1, 2013, New River Medical Center officially joined CentraCare Health and became CentraCare Health – Monticello under a leasing agreement.