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Community Members Optimistic About LICH Agreement

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TWC News: Community Members Optimistic About LICH Agreement
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A settlement suggesting a new request for proposals for developing Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill still needs to be approved by a judge, but more information continues to come out about the deal.

Residents in neighborhoods closest to the hospital have long fought for it to remain a full-service healthcare facility, and while this settlement encourages that, it does not require it.

Under the agreement, SUNY must keep the hospital open until May.

In the meantime, SUNY officials need to restart the bidding process for developing the site, which is considered prime real real estate.

The new process will favor bidders who include a full-service emergency room, an intensive care unit and at least 100 inpatient beds.

People in the community say they are generallyoptimistic.

"It's a reason to hope," said one person. "I hope it stays. I hope for the sake of the community that it stays."

"It sort of extends the life of the hospital for a little bit longer, which I think gives people more time to sort of negotiate," said another. "It's maybe not the best deal, but it still is a deal."

"Obviously, the best situation would be to find someone who can operate, or a way for the space to be operated in a cost-effective way that still gives appropriate health care," said a third.

"In the end, it's probably going to be just luxury condos," said a fourth.

The deal sets the minimum purchase price for the hospital at $210 million.

The judge is expected to sign off on the settlement this week.

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