Iron Mountain – An Upper Peninsula county is being asked to extend a financial lifeline to a hospital, which is the area’s largest employer.

Dickinson County Healthcare System wants the county to back a $7 million line of credit from banks while it pursues a federal loan or other financing. The Daily News in Iron Mountain reports that former U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak made a pitch to county commissioners last week.

Stupak says he’s “looking for a backstop” while he pursues a financial restructuring of the hospital. The Daily News says Dickinson County has a legal relationship with the 49-bed hospital but no financial responsibility.

The county’s financial controller, Brian Bousley, says he’s seeking legal advice on the request. He says, “We have to do something to keep the hospital.”

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