As reported by the Star Democrat, the Talbot County Council voted to accept a $1.65 million grant from the U.S. Department of Economic Development Administration that would help fund water and sewer lines for a new University of Maryland Regional Medical Center. The project has experienced delays, but council members hope this action provides a nudge in the forward direction. From the article:
The vote was an act of good faith that construction will hopefully take place despite “rolling delays” in the starting of the new hospital announced by Shore Health System President and CEO Ken Kozel and his team in July.
Shore Health System, the University of Maryland Medical System, Talbot County and the town of Easton have been among those negotiating the relocation of Easton’s hospital for years.
The plan is to move the hospital from its Washington Street main headquarters, in the middle of town, to just North of Easton on U.S. Route 50.
The grant, which will cover half of the water and sewer costs, stipulates that the project begin within 24 months of being accepted.
In light of the current discussion that we’ve had for the last month and a half or so with Shore Health, there was some discussion about whether the county should move forward with this, given the fact that we’re not sure the hospital’s going to be relocated,” County Manager John Craig said, reminding council members about the terms of the grant. Craig said that the ultimate result of those discussions was to still go ahead with the project.
Grant or no grant, the Talbot County Council has committed to providing the water and sewer, according to council member Andy Hollis. They approved a Developer Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (DRRA) earlier this year.
“The county is already obligated to provide this infrastructure,” Hollis said.