Commission to decide which hospital will come to Columbia County

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Wednesday, Feb. 19th, 2014

Columbia County (WRDW)- "This is a different animal. This isn't just a treatment center. This is a hospital, beds, emergency care, and trauma care," said Commissioner Ron Cross.

Representatives from GRU, Doctors, and University all make their case before the 11 member committee. Each hospital is offering an over 100 bed facility. GRU is pushing for a health campus as part of a satellite to the university.

"I think it would be smart to insist upon a quality affordable hospital," said Russell Head.

University Hospital's bid is the lowest coming in at 130 million and Columbia County would have 20 percent ownership. GRU is the highest at 280 million, and Doctor's Hospital in the middle with 150 million. This will be a huge project for Columbia County--bringing in hundreds of full time, high paying jobs, and other growth.

"When businesses are looking at moving into an area they're looking quality, at affordable care, and if a county can't provide that, then that will be a detraction from businesses not coming to that area," said Head.

One issue is location. GRU theirs on I-20 west on about 80 acres.
Both doctors and University would have theirs off Belair Road.

"At the end of the day it has to be about quality, affordability, on top of location," said Head.

They all passed the test. The committee said each one would be a great choice. Now, it's up to the commission.

"It's going to be tremendously hard," said Cross.

Cross says GRU's strength is their partnership with technology giant Phillips. University has been here since the mid 80's, and Doctors long time presence is also an asset.

"Either way the citizens of Columbia County are going to be the winners," said Cross.

Cross said they won't waste anytime and will start working in making a decision in their work sessions next week.