Hospital clears hurdle

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By Lou Elliott Jones

There are no historical or cultural artifacts or endangered species at the proposed site of the Tri-County Hospital project and that has hospital CEO Frank Schupp happy.

Schupp, who has been working on the project for more than a year was in a brighter mood than ever on Monday when he discussed the progress of the hospital.

Work has been going on at the site to meet state regulations on locating and saving any artifacts and to certify no threatened or endangered species were at the site.

Schupp says that work is finished and work can progress on construction once the financing is secured.

He said the project has also received an extension from the state on its certificate of need until at least the end of June.

“The good news is that a bunch of venture capital companies that have all this money they need to park somewhere and they don’t want to put it in the stock market have been talking to the Nashville office,” Schupp said. “He said at least three venture capital companies are looking at the tri-county project. He also said a partnership is possible with another company.

The hospital started to run into snags when the credit markets crashed in September with only 70 percent of the financing secured for the $54 million project.

Schupp says things are starting to loosen in the economy and the project is looking ahead.

There is no change in plans for a two-story, 106,000 square-foot facility on 20 acres along County Road 320 that he unveiled at a September Chiefland City Commission meeting. Construction, once started, should take 14 months.