On Tuesday, Aug. 14, Tarrant County Commissioners unanimously approved an order to call a bond election for up to $800 million for the Tarrant County Hospital District.

The bond election will ask voters to approve the issuance of bonds for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, equipping or enlarging facilities of the Tarrant County hospital system, known as John Peter Smith Hospital district.

This bond includes additional facilities to the JPS Hospital district, including a new mental health and behavioral health hospital, a new main hospital tower for general and specialized patient care, physician and nurse training at the Level One Trauma Care Center, a new cancer center, four new regional health centers and a new ambulatory surgical center.

Commissioners stressed this bond would not increase the tax rate and therefore have no fiscal effect to Tarrant County residents.

"This is a day that has been a long time in coming, but that long time in coming was time well spent developing a knowledge of sources of revenue and developing discussions about an integrated health system for Tarrant County," Precinct 1 Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks said. "All of this has been to the benefit of the patients."

Precinct 2 Commissioner Andy Nguyen said he echoed the same sentiments.

"The future of Tarrant County in terms of health care and mental health is largely dependent on this election," Nguyen said. "This is just the beginning; it's not the end."

Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Fickes said this is a process more than two years in the making. He said since the bond's first inception, costs have only gone up. As a result, now is the time to call the bond.

It will be up to Tarrant County voters to either approve or deny the bond for the JPS Hospital district at the Nov. 6 general election. Check communityimpact.com for polling locations and early voting timelines.