Hamilton County Commissioners continue to weigh an offer to turn the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital into a new crime lab.
Catholic Health Partners is willing to give the facility to the county for free and the county coroner says the cost to renovate the old hospital would be a lot less than building a whole new crime lab. To make the deal cost effective, however, the county wants to move the Board of Elections out there as well.
Democrats and Republicans on the Hamilton County Board of Elections are split over whether to move their headquarters from downtown to the former Mercy Mount Airy Hospital because of the issue of early in-person voting.
The Democrats on the board - Tim Burke and Caleb Faux - say moving to the Kipling road building would make it extremely hard for voters without cars to get to the board, which has one bus line. Many voters would have to take multiple buses to get to Mount Airy, they say.
The initial report on Hamilton County's facilities needs is in and it paints a picture of aging buildings and deferred maintenance. With some offices bursting at the seams and others only half full, the county is looking at ways to consolidate operations.
One possibility is converting the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital to hold the coroner, board of elections and some sheriff's offices.
Commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune says while this may seem like a good deal, the county needs to keep an eye on costs.