Cincinnati Children's Hospital CEO: City council's request for more money is unacceptable

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center CEO Michael Fisher rejected a request from two city council members for $14 million in additional funding for Avondale neighborhood improvements as his hospital seeks city approval for its up to $650 million expansion project, according to the Cincinnati Business Journal.

The $14 million funding request is in addition to the $11.5 million Cincinnati Children's Hospital already pledged to the city for neighborhood improvements. The council members' motion requests Children's invest 5 percent of the project's value back into the city, which would bring the total children's owes Avondale to $25 million, if the total cost for the expansion was $500 million. However, the hospital board approved up to $650 million for the expansion project so this amount could be larger.

The request for additional funds was proposed by council members Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young at a Neighborhood Committee meeting held on Monday in response to local Avondale residents speaking out against the plan last week.

Mr. Fisher rejected the request in a letter to Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and the Cincinnati City Council.

"Cincinnati Children's has not requested and is not receiving any city financial support on this project. The motion was not raised in any previous session, came as a complete surprise, is highly disappointing and is not acceptable," wrote Mr. Fisher, according to the report.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital needs approval from the Cincinnati City Council for zoning changes, the sale of city owned property and a modification to its expansion project.

A special City Council meeting will be held Aug. 9 to vote on Mrs. Simpson and Mr. Young's request.   

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