The article printed in last week’s edition of the Times is misleading. The bid that this board of county commissioners awarded to Childers (Construction) was not the No. 2 bid. It was the third bid and no other contractor bid but Childers because, in my opinion, the commissioners wanted to give the bid to Childers.
This is not a hospital that is being built. It is a four-bed emergency room. It won’t have the services that the citizens thought they would get when they voted on the half-cent tax.
(Commissioners have voted to add beds as funds are available in the coming years.) How can any commissioner promose to add a bed later when their future as a commissioner is in doubt? This poses a credibility issue.
I believe Ajax Construction was ahead of schedule, working two shifts and weekends to be ready for a May inspection. When the commissioners fired Ajax, they fired local employees. This, in my opinion, shows commissioners had no regard for the welfare of these citizens. They were only interested in playing politics.
The citizens’ mandate was for a 25-bed hospital. I believe the monthly revenue from the surtax is estimated at $1.5 million. This doesn’t include money from other services. Did you know that Gadsden County lost money because it did not receive any revenue from Medicaid? This money had to have been paid to Tallahassee and other counties. Do you think it would have been better to have that money paid to a hospital in Gadsden to serve the citizens of this county?
Gadsden County could renovate and build another hospital with excellent salaries and employment opportunities for our citizens. The commissioners who want to build a four-bed facility and call it a hospital can go somewhere else and do that. Gadsden County voters approved a 25-bed emergency hospital with five components, and we will accept nothing less.
Editor’s Note: The article referred to here referenced the fact that the bid by Childers was the second bid accepted by commissioers. The bid by Ajax Construction was the first to be accepted. This has been previously reported in the pages of the Times.