16 acre lot on the left, behind the chain-link fence, is where the
county plans to build its hospital. There will be an entrance on
Rankin Avenue / US 127, and a secondary entrance on Tram Trail.
14, 2017 – A proposed regional hospital for Dunlap cleared the
last legal hurdle on Wednesday, Dec. 13, when the Tennessee Board of
Health Services approved a Certificate of Need.
got all the approval we need to go ahead with it,” Sequatchie
County Executive Keith Cartwright said Thursday. “It's a new day!”
62,000-square-foot critical access hospital is a cooperative effort
between the county and Erlanger Medical Centers, and is expected to
cost around $30 million. It is planned for construction over the
next two years on a 16-acre lot across from the TN 111 entrance ramp
on Rankin Avenue north of Dunlap.
next step, Cartwright said, is to sign a definitive contract with
Erlanger, and to handle that end of it the county has retained the
services of Miller & Martin law firm in Chattanooga.
of today, we are engaging Erlanger in contract negotiations,” he
said. “We're working through Southeast Tennessee Development
District. (SETD Executive Director) Beth Jones helps us navigate the
lengthy process in approval that culminated in the Nashville hearing
Wednesday required Bledsoe County to relinquish their Certificate of
Need so a Certificate of Need could be issued to Sequatchie County.
The 46-year-old hospital in Bledsoe County will be closed, and Erlanger will
construct a new Emergency Department – similar to the one currently
in Dunlap – on the US 127 bypass in Pikeville.
delegation from Sequatchie County and the City of Dunlap spent two
days in Nashville this week, to present the case for the hospital at
a public hearing before the state Board of Health Services.
Accompanying Cartwright were County Commissioners Tom Vennero, Ed
Nunley, Jeff Mackey, and Wayne Clemons. Representing the city was
Mayor Dwain Land.
Cartwright and Land spoke to the board, and Cartwright gave Land a
great deal of credit for their success.
did a splendid job,” Cartwright said. “I laid out we've got this
and this, and then Dwain closed it with what I call the 'dream
speech.' He shared the dream.”
city, he said, plans to help the new hospital with natural gas,
water, and sewer service.
grateful for the city's help,” Cartwright said. “We need the
City of Dunlap. They are the county's shining star.”
county has already been approved for the money to buy the land and
build the facility, through the Tennessee Loan Pool. Cartwright said.
will begin grade work this spring, in late March or early April,”
he said. “By late 2019 or January 2020, we hope to have it open.”
the planned contract, the county will borrow the money to build the
facility, signing Erlanger to a 25-year lease in 10-year increments,
which will pay for the entire expense.
will not raise taxes – city or county – to pay for this
hospital,” Cartwright said emphatically.
the only building planned at this time is the hospital itself,
Cartwright pointed out that when the Emergency Department moves into
the hospital, the current ED building a few hundred yards south of
that site will become available.
12,000 square feet,” he said. “Now, we only get a dollar a year
out of that. We could put four or five doctors in that . . . and it
won't be a dollar a year!”
county plans to use Gresham and Smith architect firm to design the
hospital, which could possibly be more than one story. Hoar Construction, out of Brentwood, Tenn., will be the contractor for the
current Erlanger Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department will be
closed when the hospital opens in two years with its own ER, but the
county is considering “repurposing” the building for doctors'