Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Warren leaders want consensus

Meeting called about hospital

By Cindi Andrews, candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Warren County commissioners have summoned the leaders of the county's school districts, cities, villages and townships to hear the commissioners' views on Middletown Regional Hospital's proposed move into the county.

        “Because of the confusing and uninformed positions that are being taken recently by many local leaders in the various political subdivisions, we feel it necessary to schedule a public discussion,” the commissioners said in a letter mailed Friday.

        The 5:30 p.m. meeting this Thursday at the county commission office is open to the public.

        Commissioners aren't against a hospital, Commissioner Mike Kilburn said Monday. They just think Ohio 122 is a better location than the proposed Greentree Road site. It could cost the county $30 million to improve roads to Greentree, he said.

        “I want to have a hospital in this county, but I don't want to go broke because of it,” Mr. Kilburn said. “It's becoming political.”

        All but two of the county's mayors banded together last week to urge support for Middletown Regional's project, a 550-acre development that would include educational, industrial and research-oriented partners in addition to the relocated hospital. The county's superintendents took a similar position several weeks ago.

        Carlisle Mayor Patrick Long said the mayors were not trying to tell the commissioners where the hospital should go.

        “My impression and the reason I did this is (negotiations) seemed to be at a dead end,” Mr. Long said.

        “Middletown Regional wants to come and the commissioners don't want it. And I thought they ought to hear that there are people in Warren County who support the idea.”


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