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Hamilton County working on acquisition of former hospital

Hamilton County administrators are continuing the process to take over ownership of the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital site.

Assistant County Administrator Jeff Aluotto says boundary, environmental and other surveys are nearly complete.

"We are looking to do this right," says Aluotto. "We're looking to do this in a measured way. In a prudent way. This is less from our perspective about what is out there in 2015 and 2016 and more about how we position this to be a strategic center for county government in 2020, 2025, 2030, moving out."

County Commissioners, however, are looking at more immediate needs and timetables.

Board President Chris Monzel wants to see some broader milestones such as when employees might be able to move into the facility.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann is specifically focused on how the county might be able to use the facility as a new crime lab. He says it's important to move fast so the county can be considered for help from the state Attorney General's office which is looking to expand regional crime labs.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.