Poplar Bluff hospital hearing to be in September

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Due to continuing opposition, the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee on Monday decided to not hear Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center's request to build its new hospital on a 62-acre site on the south side of Oak Grove Road between the U.S. 67 Bypass and Shelby Road. The vote was 5-0.

Then state Rep. Penny Hubbard of St. Louis made a motion to have the hearing in Jefferson City, Mo., on Aug. 22, but it failed for lack of a second.

As a result, the hearing will be during the committee's next regular scheduled meeting on Sept. 12. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. It is not yet known when Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center will be on the agenda.

Some committee members had attempted to get the request heard Monday after learning one of the property owners, Don Bedell, had withdrawn his opposition because he had sold his property.

"I received nine phone calls Sunday from people who were opposed to having it heard today," Committee Chairman James Tellatin of Wildwood, Mo., said during Monday's telephonic administrative meeting.

Steve and Patty Boyers, who own an adjacent 30 acres, were represented by a lawyer during the conference phone call.

Patty Boyers said the Route PP site, which received a certificate of need approval on May 9, was "shovel-ready."

Greg Carda, the hospital's chief executive officer, and Ryan Kiser, who is developing the Eight Points site, cited the increase in medical, construction and retail jobs that would be provided if the committee would allow the certificate of need approval be moved to the Oak Grove Road site.

Tellatin also said phone calls came from some school board members who are concerned about the tax abatement for the Oak Grove site. The tax abatement is expected to be on the agenda for the Poplar Bluff School District board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

He also said opposition was expressed by a former mayor, a former legislator and some local business owners.

The committee members did not think it was fair to everyone listening on the phone to make a decision without having a "face to face" hearing in Jefferson City.

Map of pertinent addresses

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