Memorial's day nears 

Tuesday, we'll find out whether voters have decided to lease city-owned Memorial to University of Colorado Health, a newly formed nonprofit that includes the University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System.

The city stands to gain $74 million up front, plus $5.6 million a year for 30 years. The 40-year lease also includes $3 million per year toward a branch of the CU School of Medicine.

Involving nearly $2 billion changing hands over four decades, it's the biggest financial decision submitted to voters in the city's history.

Memorial spokesman Brian Newsome says that if voters approve the transfer, which would take effect Oct. 1, the first signs would be, well, signs: "We would start to see new logo changes." Newsome says Memorial's name would be worked into the new logo, incorporating both Memorial and UCH.

But Newsome says Memorial's mission won't change, regardless of the outcome.

"If it doesn't pass, I don't think anything changes, at least not in the short term," he says. "We've been focused all along on our operations and trying to keep those as strong as possible. We would continue to do that after the election."

UCH was more circumspect.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves," spokesman Dan Weaver says in an e-mail, adding, "While we are hopeful the voters will ratify the City Council's selection process and lease agreement, we're not about to get out in front of the voters on this one."

For voting information and to read the negotiated lease, go to springsgov.com.


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