It appears Illinois lawmakers will have the final say when it comes to returning any leftover money from the former Wood River Township Hospital. It was announced earlier this year that the Wood River Township Hospital Board had reached a point that it would be able to meet its future financial obligations and had about $8.5 million dollars remaining. Several elected officials and groups have offered opinions as to what to do next.
Both the hospital board and Wood River Township Board believe the money should be returned to taxpayers. However, the mayors of East Alton and Wood River have pointed out that a number of residents that paid into the hospital for years no longer live in the district, so any refunds could actually go to residents who never paid into the system. They believe trying to find those who did pay into the system could take a very long time. Leaders of other taxing bodies believe the money could best be spent by them so as to benefit the most taxpayers. Local industries like the refinery and railroad stand to benefit the most having paid the most into the system over the years, but it looks like it a specific law will have to be written to deal with the issue...believed to be the first of its kind in Illinois.