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Second grant for hospital announced

Contributed | Office of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley

A grant in the amount of $200,000 has been announced to provide infrastructure for the under-construction St. Vincent’s Chilton hospital.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced the grant with a press release.

The Appalachian Regional Commission grant will be combined with a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded earlier by Bentley, according to the release

The $46.5 million, 30-bed facility, which will be managed and operated by St. Vincent’s Health System in Birmingham, is under construction in Clanton off Lay Dam Road near Interstate 65.

The area has been without a hospital since Chilton County Medical Center closed in 2012.

“This hospital, with an emergency room and diagnostic and surgical services, will provide Chilton County and central Alabama with needed medical care that has been lacking for more than three years, and it will provide 90 new jobs for the community,” Bentley said in the release. “Hospitals are important to communities and are important to economic development prospects. I am proud to support Chilton hospital with this grant.”

Bentley commended Chilton County residents for approving a 1-cent sales tax to build the new hospital and local leaders who laid the groundwork for the facility to be built.

Funds from both the ARC and CDBG programs will be used to extend water service to the hospital. Both programs are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Bentley notified Mayor Billy Joe Driver that the grant had been approved, according to the release.

Congress established the ARC in 1965 as a supplemental grant program to raise the standard of living, improve the quality of life and promote economic development in portions of the 13 Appalachian mountain states. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Chilton, are part of the ARC area.

ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.