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New Baptist Hospital plans put on hold

Addison Dent/The Daily Mississippian


Plans for Baptist Memorial Hospital’s expansion may be on hold again after a petition of objection was filed before a hearing April 3 at the Lafayette County Chancery Court. The hearing concerned whether to allow the annexation of land south of Oxford.

Landowners Robert and Beth King filed a motion asking the court to annex 160 acres into city limits in February. Several others who own part of the land have since joined the request. The property is located northwest of the Shiloh Place subdivision and west of the current hospital. The land is surrounded on three sides by Oxford city limits and sits in unincorporated Lafayette County. Although there is no official offer or contract, the landowners were hoping to sell their land to Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation for the new hospital facility. The property is one of a few properties still being considered.  

During the summer, Baptist Memorial Hospital bought out its lease to start plans to construct a new facility because the hospital has outgrown its current 12.6-acre space. The new $300 million regional hospital is supposed to be built within city limits and is expected to be finished by 2015.

Baptist Memorial filed an objection, citing that the annexation was unnecessary on the morning of the hearing. It also states that the description of the land and map in the motion does not accurately reflect the proposed annexation area. Both sides have 30 days to submit any other motions for the case. At the end of the 30-day period, another court hearing will be scheduled. The ultimate decision will be made by the chancery court judge. 

The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted last month to allow city attorney Pope Mallette to notify the court that it will not object to the annexation request.