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Saturday, Feb 16 2013 08:59 AM

Healthcare district makes progress towards new hospital

Related Photos

Ron Smith, driver for earthwork contractor Gilliam & Sons, is pictured here delivering the first piece of heavy equipment to the building site for the new Tehachapi Hospital on Friday, Feb. 15. Although a formal groundbreaking is weeks away, site preparation is expected to begin soon. Tehachapi News photo by Ed Gordon

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District was busy at its board of director's meeting last Monday night, inching a little closer to the construction of a new Tehachapi Hospital.

The meeting began with the board voting unanimously to adopt a resolution of necessity to acquire by eminent domain, an easement across property owned by Touchstone for the construction of a street to obtain access to the new hospital.

Next was to give final approval of the transfer of 37-acre feet of water rights to the City of Tehachapi -- a condition of receiving a building permit from the city.

Both the easement and the water rights transfer were critical pieces of preparing the project for groundbreaking according to Project Manager Stacy Pray.

Although earthmoving equipment was moved to the property last Friday, and excavation expected to begin soon, the formal ground breaking ceremony is set for March 28.

The board also gave its approval for equipment leasing for the new hospital in the amount of up to $13 million -- an amount that may not cover equipment for completion of the maternity area, which may have to wait until additional funds become available.

Finally, approvals of an agreement for extra service funds for SWA Architects in an amount up to $30,000 for reimbursement allowance and an agreement with Thuong Vo M.D. for physician services in the area of pain management, were also given.

Before the meeting ended, Kenneth Hetge gave a presentation on Airport Safety concerns related to the location of the new hospital versus the airport runway and take off patterns.

The next meeting of the board is scheduled for March 20 at 6 p.m. in the hospital conference room at 115 West "E" Street.

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