FRIEND, Neb. (AP) - A cash-strapped hospital in southeast Nebraska is seeking $800,000 in order to keep its Medicare funding and continue serving the area after nearly 90 years.

The Friend Community Healthcare System needs to update its electrical system by the end of the year or the hospital will be forced to close. Friend residents would then be forced to travel 30 minutes away for emergency care.

A bond issue on the May 15 ballot seeks to raise the money to update wiring and prolong the struggling hospital's life. The proposed solution wouldn't raise taxes or put the burden on property owners.

Board member Nick Svehla says the bond issue would serve as a loan, and the district would make bond payments with taxes it's already receiving.

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