Monday, May 4, 2009

Barrow Announces $84.7 Million for 65-bed Hospital, Vidalia. Barrow Announces $40.4 Million in Recovery Act FuBnding for Savannah Harbor Construction

Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed to insure an $84.7 million loan to Meadows Regional Medical Center for the construction of a new 65-bed hospital in Vidalia to replace the existing 45-year old facility. The loan is made possible through the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Section 242 Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program and is the first FHA-insured hospital loan in the state of Georgia.

The project will construct a 195,000-square foot replacement facility that will include 16 examination and trauma rooms, as well as 65 new beds. By insuring the mortgage loan, FHA is enabling Meadows Regional to obtain lower cost financing, saving the hospital an estimated $14 million in interest payments throughout the life of the loan. When finished, the new medical center will be the largest construction project completed in Vidalia in over 20 years.

"This is great news for folks in Vidalia and the surrounding area," said Barrow. "I spent last week traveling all over the district to talk with folks about their health care concerns, and everywhere I went I heard the same thing - we need new facilities with the most up-to-date medical equipment. The folks in Toombs County are lucky to have one of America's 100 Top Hospitals, and this loan will help them continue to provide firstrate care."

The construction project will create more than 900 full-time jobs and provide an economic stimulus of almost $207 million during the construction period. Once completed, the new Meadows Regional Medical Center will support more than 340 jobs in the area and provide an annual economic benefit of approximately $50 million.

Also: Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced today that the Savannah Harbor will receive $39.7 million in operations and maintenance funds, and $700,000 in construction funds, from the Army Corps of Engineers under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"This is great news for our community," said Barrow. "These funds will put folks to work, and it'll take care of some of the upkeep that has been unfunded for too long. The construction money will help the Port to build and maintain the economic engine that drives not only the local economy but the rest of the State of Georgia as well."

"The announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers for funding for our port at Savannah is very good news," said Steve Green, Chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority. "The $39.7 million for Savannah will, when completed, compensate for years of neglect in maintaining the channel at its authorized project depth of 42 feet. We are also very pleased that $700,000 is provided for the Fiscal Year 2009 studies for the Savannah Harbor Deepening studies so that the environmental and benefit cost analysis for that important work can continue to move forward."

The Recovery Act appropriated $4.6 billion to the Corps for its Civil Works program and about $1.676 billion in military construction funding. The Act provides more than $3 billion in restoration and modernization funds for Army, Air Force, and Department of Defense health facilities.

These projects are part of a list of civil works projects that qualify for Recovery Act funding, including 178 construction projects and 892 Operation and Maintenance projects. All projects on the lists have received appropriated funds in prior years' Energy and Water Development Appropriations acts.

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