State provides grant to help fund infrastructure for new hospital

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The state of Alabama is providing a $200,000 grant to help restore hospital services in Chilton County.

The Community Development Block grant, which is federal money administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), was announced on Tuesday.

The grant will fund infrastructure for “Chilton Hospital,” a new $46.5 million, 30-bed facility being built in Clanton off Lay Dam Road near Interstate 65.

Chilton County has been without a hospital since Chilton Medical Center closed in 2012, leaving the nearest hospitals in Prattville and Alabaster, about 30 miles away.

St. Vincent’s Health System in Birmingham will operate and manage the hospital, which will have an emergency department and offer diagnostic and surgical services, the release said.

It will also provide 90 new jobs in the area.

“Convenient access to medical care is important to any community, but it is especially critical for a growing area like Chilton County,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a release. “I am delighted to support this project and the new jobs that will be created.”

The grant will help the city of Clanton extend public water service to the hospital site, a 40-acre plot west of I-65. The city is providing a $100,000 match for the project and is seeking additional funding to extend sewer services to the location, the release said.

On Wednesday, Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver said he was excited to learn about the grant.

“It is a good deal,” Driver said. “We appreciate the grant, and it will really help us.”

After the medical center closed, voters in Chilton County approved a temporary 1-cent sales tax to finance construction of a new hospital.

Driver said Bentley notified him of the grant via a letter.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

ADECA administers a wide ranger of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, infrastructure upgrades, recreation, energy, water resources, job training and career development.