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Voters approve sales tax increase for hospital

Chilton County voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund the construction of a new hospital.

The referendum was included on the Primary Election ballots.

Voters approved the measure by a count of 7,853 (79.6 percent) in favor to 2,012 (20.4 percent) against.

Sibley Reynolds with the Chilton County Health Care Authority said the Chilton County Commission would hold a special meeting Wednesday morning as part of the process to build the hospital.

Reynolds said an agreement is already in place to purchase the property, about 40 acres off Highway 145 in Clanton, where the hospital would be located, as well as contracts with engineers and others involved with the work.

“We’ll get the thing up and running as soon as we can,” Reynolds said.

The Chilton County Health Care Authority, formerly the Chilton County Hospital Board, is an organization that has worked to bring a hospital to Chilton County since the closing of Chilton Medical Center in October 2012.

The proposed hospital would be owned by Chilton County but operated by St. Vincent’s Health System.

“I want everyone to understand that this is going to be as above-board as it can be,” Reynolds said about the Authority’s planned transparency. “We appreciate the support of the people.”