Based upon the news articles I have read, it is my understanding that The Memorial Hospital plans to build a new hospital on the site of the old hospital for the proposed sum of $18 million.
A new hospital should be built on the outskirts of town, preferably closer to the local airport. This has numerous advantages. It would relieve traffic congestion from a residential neighborhood. This would include the disruption caused to the residents by normal traffic for people going to the hospital, both employees and patients and the disruptions to the area caused by lights and sirens of emergency vehicles.
Building a hospital where there is plenty of available vacant land would also relieve the parking congestion in the residential area where the current hospital is located. In areas on the outskirts, there would be plenty of room to build a parking lot or structure that could adequately provide parking for those with business at the hospital and which could be expandable.
Furthermore, by building in an area with vacant land, any medical professional desiring to build a clinic next to the hospital would have land available to choose from.
And last, but not least, is the noise disruption and the danger caused by the helicopter bringing in patients to the hospital. I am sure not many people enjoy the disruption a helicopter causes by landing at the hospital.
I am also surprised that TMH believes that it can build a hospital for $18 million that will adequately meet the needs of the community. Furthermore, it seems as though there is no thought given to contingencies for unforeseen costs or overruns, which could easily add more than 20 percent to the price tag.
And, where would they get the money? Taxes are always a resource when an agency has a cost overrun.
TMH needs to find a location which is suitable to the entire community as described above and then it needs to raise at least $26 million to build a $22 million facility. That way there would be a reserve for unexpected costs or overruns without the need to seek a bailout from taxpayers.
I personally do not oppose a new hospital, but only look to people to make sure TMH builds it in a place beneficial to the community and at a price that would not burden the taxpayers and at the same time provide a new hospital that is expandable and will meet the needs of the community.