CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - After months of uncertainty, a date has officially been set for the hospital in Houston County to re-open.
In June of last year, the only hospital in Crockett shut its doors after Little River Health Care ended their affiliation with the hospital district.
For the last 10 months, maintenance of the building has been on-going.
"It's been a big challenge for the residents of the county to get to health care," said Bob Grier, a board member.
The prolonged closure not only affected its patient, but businesses in the area as well. Pat Dickey is a real estate broker for almost two decades. She said many people turned away from moving into Houston County or Crockett after learning about the lack of hospital access.
"Obviously, when I began my conversation with people thinking about moving here, I told them that we didn't have a hospital knowing that that was critical to anyone making, trying to make a decision whether to move to a community or not," Dickey said.
Since November, board members have been working to seal the deal, to bring the newly named Crockett Medical Center to life.
"That golden hour is critical in any successful treatment and outcome," Grier said. "So we need an emergency room here to bring that time to shortest possible and here have an emergency room here in Crockett."
In June, at least 170 jobs were lost. Now, board members said potentially 50 jobs or more could be brought back.
Additionally, to continue helping fund the hospital, the board proposed to lift the $0.15-cent property tax cap to $0.35 cents.
"The board at this point would not even go to $0.35 cents, but we need the latitude to have that ability for funding of healthcare in the county, and we have proposed we would go from $0.15 cents to $0.20 cents, a five-cent increase in our taxation," Grier said.
Voters will get to decide during elections to lift the 15-cent cap on May 5.
Board members said doors will open by August 1. Until then, Crockett Medical Center is focused on hiring staff and making final preparations.