County commision weighs in on UNMH expansion

Posted at: 11/13/2012 10:18 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Bernalillo County Commission endorsed the new hospital wing of the University of New Mexico three out of five votes. Commissioner Wayne Johnson voted against the resolution.

"This was never brought to us and said, 'Hey, we get $90 million a year and we want to build a $146 million hospital. What do you guys think about it?'" Johnson said.

But the vice chair of the county commission told Commissioner Johnson he had every chance to be informed with public meetings held by UNM about the new wing.

"It is absolutely appropriate for this board to express its opinion and our support to the (state) board of finance," Maggie Hart Stebbens said.

UNM already has the $146 million it needs for the new wing in the bank.

"I want to commend the hospital, also, for having the frugality and for finding the efficiencies to be able to collect the amount necessary to add this wing," Chairman Art De La Cruz said.

UNM said all of their financial information of the current hospital is available on the Internet.

The final step to approve the new wing that could brig 300 permanent jobs to Albuquerque will be at the State Board of Finance meeting on November 26.

Several local and state groups are also endorsing the new wing, including the All Indian Pueblo Council and Mayor Richard Berry.