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Judge rules vote on proposed Flagstaff hospital will proceed

A Coconino County judge denied Northern Arizona Health Care’s request to stop the referendum on the Flagstaff hospital project. The ruling clears the way for voters to decide whether plans for new medical facilities move forward.

Flagstaff City Council approved the first phase of an $800 million hospital and ambulatory care center earlier this year. The decision was met with backlash due to the lack of information about the project and its potential impact on the community. The group Flagstaff Community First submitted thousands of signatures to put the issue on the city’s November special election ballot.

They argued the lawsuit with Northern Arizona Health Care at a court hearing on Thursday.

NAH attorneys argued that Proposition 480 should be removed from the ballot because the petition’s language was misleading. They pointed to the fact that the description claimed the site would be used as retail and commercial space and made no mention of a medical facility.

However, Coconino Superior Court Judge Brent Harris wrote in Friday’s ruling that it was not misleading for the petitioner’s failure to list all possible examples of permitted uses.

NAH said it plans to appeal the decision.

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