Early results show Flagstaff voters rejecting new hospital plan
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The most controversial issue on Tuesday’s ballot in Arizona is whether a new hospital in Flagstaff should be approved, and as the unofficial results first came in at 8 p.m., voters are saying no by a large margin. As of 8:05 p.m., “No” is up 72% to 28%, with just over 3,300 votes counted. See the latest results here.
The Flagstaff City Council approved in June the plan from Northern Arizona Healthcare to move its hospital from downtown Flagstaff to about 7 miles further south near Fort Tuthill. But the proposal got on the ballot after a group called Flagstaff Community First gathered enough signatures to create Proposition 480.
NAH said the current hospital is only the Level I trauma center north of Phoenix, and a new facility would provide better health care to northern Arizona’s growing population. The first phase would cost $800 million, and NAH would foot the bill.
However, opponents are concerned about the second phase, which could include commercial and residential buildings at the hospital complex. NAH says the City Council still needs to approve phase 2. Those opposing the new hospital also say they’re concerned about the new location, saying it’s too far from town. They also don’t think there’s enough staffing for a larger facility, and the new hospital will mean higher health care costs.
NAH CEO Dave Cheney said a no vote means they will have to look outside of Flagstaff to find another place to build, and they say that will delay hospital advancements by years. For more information on each side’s view, you can learn more about a vote yes here and a vote no here.
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