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Signs of life returning to proposed hospital

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By Mark Scohier

 

A city official, at Monday night’s commission meeting, said plans for the much-anticipated construction of a hospital in Chiefland are back on the drawing table. Laurie Copeland, project and finance coordinator for the City of Chiefland, told commissioners a company called DASCO Companies, LLC, based out of Palm Beach Gardens, is working to acquire the rights for construction of the proposed 60-bed facility. “We’re rockin’ as fast as we can roll,” Copeland said.  “These guys have money.” And money, according to Copeland, was the reason the original builders, a Nashville-based company called Ameris Health Systems, eventually withdrew from the project. “They could not secure all the funding for the project,” she said.  It was about six to eight months ago when city officials first realized the project, under Ameris Health Systems, was not going to happen, she said.  “I do not believe the question of money is a problem so much for this group (DASCO),” she told commissioners.  “It’s just tying up the loose ends.” Copeland said plans are still in the early stages of development, but she’s working to arrange a meeting in Tallahassee with DASCO and Chiefland and state officials. She said DASCO plans to use the same architectural footprint—located behind the Walmart Supercenter on U.S. 19-- established by Ameris Health Systems, though they would most likely make some minor cosmetic changes to the facade of the facility.   Mark Scohier can be reached at news2@chieflandcitizen.com