MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Commission voted Monday night in favor of the resolution to further explore the prospect of rebuilding Regional One Health. But many of them want more answers by a quick deadline.
$350 million is not a small ask. But that’s what Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris hopes the county commission will appropriate to rebuild Regional One.
“It’s our only public hospital. It’s owned by the county, so the responsibility is upon us to make sure that Regional One can deliver the critical services that are needed,” Mayor Harris said.
In an hours-long discussion, commission members discussed several aspects of the resolution and possible amendments to ensure it is done correctly.
Among them include a more detailed look at additional revenue streams so taxpayers do not carry the entire burden.
Some options include a possible wheel tax or a property tax increase.
In total, the project is expected to cost anywhere from $800 million to $1 billion, some of which, Mayor Harris says, will come from the state and hospital owners.
The biggest issues the hospital sees now, he says, are capacity issues, primarily in the trauma center and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“You’ve got to remember that the very best medical care is a function of access to the best facilities and access to the best innovations and technology. So we would see all of that at the new, rebuilt Regional One,” Mayor Harris said.
In a statement, Regional One Health said, “The need for improved infrastructure is something that has existed for some time. We have been good stewards of our resources…However, moving forward with a replacement campus is now the best and most viable option.”
The unanimous vote in favor of the resolution shows council members agree.
The passage of this resolution is only to further explore the details of the project. The information will be presented to the commissioners on April 17, nine days before the mayor is set to present the budget.