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Four Laning 331 at the hospital

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Misty, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    I was told the other day that the hospital in Defuniak does not want the area in front of the hospital on 331 4 laned and it will remain 2 lanes.

    This seems like a safety issue and I'm curious as to how they could prevent the State from modifying a State hwy?
     
  2. m1a1mg

    m1a1mg Beach Fanatic

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  3. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Hmmm, I didn't know Ron Kelly was the marketing director for the hospital but I do know of one of the illustrious Board members.....Clayton Adkinson.

    Looks like a showdown is in the making.
     
  4. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    If anyone really wants to know who is behind preventing growth in this area they need look no further.
     
  5. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    It appears the distance from 331 to the hospital is quite a bit. Somebody please tell me what is the big deal? Four laning 331 is for the safety and benefit of all using it.
     
  6. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    The problem the hospital has is that the proposed construction does not use the existing roadbed but totally uses the hospital's property. This would render the hospital landlocked and would leave no room for future expansion. Since the land west of the existing roadbed is farmland, the hospital contends it makes far more sense to utilize that land for the new roadway. The state will pay for the right-of-way so the current hospital owners would make more money with the current plan.
    Healthcare is a vital component of economic development. Like education, companies desire quality healthcare if they are going to build in an area. So, for the long-term future of North Walton County, keeping the options for expansion/improvement open for the hospital seems to be the best path to take.
     
  7. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Quality health care being the key word Danny, which is why so many in Defuniak utilize Sacred Heart, Crestview and all other health care facilities outside Defuniak.
     
  8. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Future expansion?? Why wasn't this a consideration when the hospital was built? There has been talk about 331 being 4 laned for many many years.
     
  9. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    What the hospital said in the paper several weeks ago was that it has always been their long-term plan to expand on the land between the building and the roadway. That was the reason the building is so far away from the current road. There are wetlands to the east and south of the current location.
    As far as the quality of care, there is a difference between what we have short-term and what is needed long-term for quality jobs to be located in the North. Hopefully the facilities can be upgraded in the future and people can stay at home for their healthcare. That would be much preferable to the current situation where you must travel 30+ miles one way.
    One problem that we keep repeating is thinking only in the short-term instead of taking a long view.
     
  10. Seaducer

    Seaducer Banned

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    what's directly across the street that can't be encroached upon to split the difference?
     
  11. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    There is farmland across the road
     
  12. m1a1mg

    m1a1mg Beach Fanatic

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    Danny, Defunkiak has been stuck around 5K population since 1960. What growth?
     
  13. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Look at the property appraiser's website. It shows the majority of the easement to the east of 331 currently. I realize these aren't perfect measures, but the majority of the front of the hospitals property is easement already owned by the state.
     
  14. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Beach Fanatic

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    I have seen a few reports where they complain about future road vibrations and dust interfering with their ability to provide the community with quality healthcare.

    1. Really?
    2. They should be treated like any other business. If you can't operate on the site, find another one. Unless maybe they are nonprofit and/or provide free healthcare.
    3. More traffic means more accidents and more business.
     
  15. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    One way to measure a hospital's growth potential is its census ( how many beds are occupied on a given night). I have no direct knowledge, but I have been told by several people that work in healthcare that the hospital seldom has more than 10 of its 50 beds occupied. If that is true, they have plenty of opportunity for growth without the capital expenditure of an expansion.
     
  16. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    It is true that DeFuniak Springs has remained the same size for many years while communities all around us have grown rapidly. One of the reasons is failure to plan for growth and another is intentional hindering by a group that wants things to remain as they have been for years. I want DeFuniak Springs to grow and attract quality businesses that will increase the tax base and raise the median income. Healthcare is a component of planning for growth. Sometimes you have to play the hand you are dealt. Healthmark is the only game in town and hampering its potential to expand is not in the best interests of the majority of people in the North end. The road can be constructed using the existing roadway and right of way with any additions being made from land to the west. This is a win-win for everyone and so simple it boggles the mind that it cannot be agreed to and move on.

    Waltonparent, you are correct about the use of the hospital in the short-term. And it may be years before it increases. But killing its potential for growth if the need arises makes no sense. The cost of building another facility is prohibitive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  17. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    True Danny, but to have a robust medical community requires things DFS is not willing or able to provide. This includes: 1. A broad base of patients that includes private medical insurance and Medicare. A huge majority of Walton county that would use Healthmark are Medicaid patients. Doctors don't receive enough reimbursement to cover cost. Another issue is that doctors and medical professionals want a high quality education for their children. If they can make more money, create a better life for their families and more opportunities for their children somewhere else, why would they chose to move to DFS?
     
  18. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    It has a circle lake.
     
  19. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    And a lovely one at that.
     
  20. m1a1mg

    m1a1mg Beach Fanatic

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    News out today that Healthmark has dropped their objection.
     

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