Citizens vote on sales tax renewal to support county hospital

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 4:39 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2023 at 10:28 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Voters in Lawrence County voted to renew the penny-on-the-dollar sales tax supporting Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

It was announced Tuesday, Aug. 8, that the current unofficial results for the renewal are 1,266 for and 116 against.

The city was worried that if it was voted down, services such as emergency care, stroke care, and much more, would be put on hold.

Lawrence Healthcare President Josh Conlee said that thanks to the sales tax in the past, many people in the community have been saved.

“There’s been countless individuals in our communities that we have saved due to their cardiac event, or they’re having a stroke, where if we weren’t available, they would have to go 45 minutes away to get the care that we need,” Conley said.

Members of the community in Lawrence County say the hospital is very much needed in their community.

“I had a son that several years ago had a blood clot that had lodged in his heart,” Walnut Ridge Resident Sherry Ezell explained. “Had it not been for Lawrence Memorial, my son may have died.”

Not only does the hospital provide healthcare, but also jobs to its community.

“There is still a lot of people out there working that need to keep their jobs,” Ezell added. “More than that, though is, the hospital needs to stay open.”