05/25/06 — $145 million for Cherry Hospital included in spending plan

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$145 million for Cherry Hospital included in spending plan

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 25, 2006 1:50 PM

Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight says $145.5 million to build a new Cherry Hospital at Goldsboro has been included in the state budget now being crafted by the General Assembly.

The money would be provided through Certificates of Participation bonds, which would not have to be subjected to a referendum.

Basnight and Sen. John Kerr met with Cherry Hospital officials earlier this year. After a tour of the facilities, Basnight said he was convinced that a new hospital should be given high priority.

His chief of staff, Amy Fulk, said funds for a new mental hospital to replace Broughton Hospital in Morganton would be included in the 2008 budget.

The price tag on the facilities for Broughton Hospital was put at $162.8 million.

Hospital officials informed Basnight and Kerr that adequate land is available on the present Cherry property to accommodate the new facilities.

Some of the facilities still in use at Cherry are among the oldest in the state. They pose problems not only with inefficiencies but with the safety of patients and hospital personnel, Kerr and Basnight were told.

Basnight’s office said as soon as the budget is approved, the bond proposal would go to the state treaurer and council of state and after being sanction at that level, the project could be put in motion immediately.