The Commerce Journal

Local News

November 7, 2013

Bond approved, Commerce to get new ER

Light turnout sees $12.3 million measure pass by 515 votes

Hunt County — A light turnout of local voters Tuesday approved more than $12 million in bonds for the Hunt County Municipal Hospital District (HMHD), which will go toward paying for three major capital improvement projects; one each in Greenville, Commerce and Quinlan.

A total of 2,138 voters cast ballots in favor of the bond proposition (56.82 percent), with 1,623 votes against (43.18 percent), which represented only about 8 percent of Hunt County’s approximately 48,000 registered voters.

The hospital district was seeking voter approval of $12.3 million in bonds to pay for the three major projects. The third floor of the Hunt Regional Medical  Center in Greenville will be completely renovated at a cost of $2.7 million. Commerce would receive a new $5 million outpatient facility while a $4.5 million facility wold be added to the current medical pavilion in Quinlan.

“The Hunt Regional team is pleased that the people of Hunt County have spoken in support of our vision to improve emergency healthcare services throughout the county,” said Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Rich Carter. “There is still a lot of work to be done and we are eager to get started on the next phase.”

The bonds are expected to be paid back over a 20 year period and will increase the HMHD property tax rate by .0181 cents.

In the early vote, 780 voters (62.10 percent) said they were in favor of the measure, compared to 476 votes against (37.90 percent). But on election day Tuesday, 1,356 voters cast ballots in favor (54.17 percent) to 1,147 votes against (43.18 percent).

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