Crittenden County Voters OK Tax Increase to Reopen Hospital


Crittenden County Voters OK Tax Increase to Reopen Hospital
Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless at the Crittenden Regional Hospital, which closed last year.

Despite severe weather that ripped through the area last night, Crittenden County voters approved a 1 percent sales tax increase to help reopen the Crittenden Regional Hospital, which closed last year.

WATN-TV reports that 2,846 voted for the tax and 439 voted against.

As Arkansas Business detailed in Monday's cover story, Ameris Health of Nashville, Tennessee, had agreed to operate the West Memphis hospital if the sales tax was approved.

Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless told Arkansas Business last week that Ameris would operate a smaller hospital than Crittenden Regional, which had operated with 140 beds, but more services could be added if the demand arises.

Since the hospital closed in September, county residents have been are forced to go to Memphis, Jonesboro or Forrest City for their emergency medical care, Wheeless said.

"With the hospital being closed, it’s put a major burden on emergency services," Wheeless said.