City of Radcliff makes push to get VA hospital

Big questions remain on VA hospital

RADCLIFF, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Should it stay or should it go? That's been the question about a new VA hospital for the Kentuckiana area.

After the VA bought land at Brownsboro and the Watterson, several other groups offered up free land instead.

Radcliff Mayor Mike Weaver is suggesting a private-public partnership. He says it’s how the Golden Gate Bridge was built and would work for the hospital.

"It is nuts. Nuts. Nuts, for anyone in a position of authority to choose Brownsboro Road… if they do it, I hope they are embarrassed as much as they need to be,”  Weaver said.

He presented to a packed room, filled with elected officials and veterans.

"People do not want it there, the traffic is horrendous. We told you all the reasons it shouldn't go there, and none of that has changed,” said the Mayor.

He says the VA is known for taking way too long to build hospitals and going way over budget, so he's suggesting the public-private partnership instead.

“[It’s] called a P3, will be professionally managed. I can tell you that the P3 will build a hospital, and they want to build a hospital at Millpond, and they can build it in three years, max four, not 10. And the P3 will build this within the budget constraints that are already in place."

The city of Radcliff even says it will donate 50 acres of land to the VA to build, a facility where veterans can recover with a beautiful view. It's an idea a veteran like Clint Meshaw can approve of.

"They don't need to say. OK, on Monday, I'll drive to Louisville to get my healthcare. That's wrong. That's totally wrong,” said Meshaw.

He served in Vietnam, then spent many more years working with veterans to get them help. He says asking elderly veterans and their spouses to battle traffic in the city is a bad idea.

"That's not right. These guys gave everything they could give. And I know. I walked beside them,” Meshaw said.

Because years of waiting is something most veterans have time for.

"The youngest WWII veteran in the U.S. is 90,” said Mayor Weaver.

Something everyone seemed to agree with: veterans deserve care now, not later.

"If you fit into that category, should you wait 10 more years to get a hospital?” asked the mayor. The crowd quickly yelled out, “No.”

WHAS did reach out to the VA to get an update on the Brownsboro location, and their response to Thursday’s meeting. As of air-time, we were still waiting on a statement.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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