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County Commissioners accept former Mercy Hospital offer
CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- The Hamilton County Commissioners voted Wednesday to accept ownership of the former Mercy Hospital in Mt. Airy. Catholic Health Partners offered the building to the county in exchange for a dollar.
There are plans to move the coroner's office and crime lab to the former hospital. Both need more room and the current space is in bad shape. The hospital will need to be renovated.
For the past couple of weeks, the decision seemed to hinge on whether the Board of Elections also moved to Mt. Airy, because the coroner's needs won't take up the entire space. Republican members were in favor of the move. Democrats said it would infringe on early voting.
In the end, the Commissioners voted to accept the offer, even if the Board of Elections doesn't make the move. Commission president Chris Monzel tells Jeff Hirsh, if the BOE doesn't make the move the county will put something else at the site.
Caleb Faux, a democrat on the Board of Elections, says the Mt. Airy location may benefit the board, even if it remains downtown. He says space will open up at the current Broadway location as the evidence room and other police operations are moved to Mt. Airy. He says it's possible they could expand early voting at the location. They still have much to figure out.