Lee Co. residents fire off questions about proposed hospital - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. residents fire off questions about proposed hospital

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
Jimmy Brooks (Source: WALB) Jimmy Brooks (Source: WALB)
Lee County Commissioner Rick Muggridge (Source: WALB) Lee County Commissioner Rick Muggridge (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dozens of South Georgians fired off questions and concerns about the proposed Lee County hospital at a summit hosted by the county on Thursday night.

One of those concerns had to do with bald eagle sightings on the property, formerly home to Grand Island Golf Course where the proposed hospital would be located. 

Since March 1st this Lee County resident Jimmy Brooks has spotted eagles on the property

For the past 10 years, Brooks has lived in Grand Island Subdivision just steps from the proposed hospital.

"Everyday these eagles are on that property, their looking for fish and squirrels," said Brooks. 

Brooks said there's plenty of wildlife including snakes that have been nesting on the land.

He explained there's a female, a male eagle and a young eagle. 

"I really like for them to go and ahead and build the hospital but not disturb this," said Brooks. 

He's even reached out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to inspect the nest.

He also wants Lee County leaders to consider having buffers like drought-tolerant plants and giving residents plenty of room between their homes and the hospital. 

"Whatever we need to do to preserve habitat we want to do the right thing," said Lee County Commissioner Rick Muggridge. 

But that wasn't the only concern. 

"Are you going to have a heart doctor, are you going to deliver babies?" remarked Muggridge. 

The hot question of the night was what's the recourse on the taxpayer? 

"It will be financed through bonds and no recourse on the taxpayer," said Lee County Commissioner Billy Mathis. 

The Development Authority owns the property. They will issue revenue bonds and those bonds will pay for the construction of hospital. Those bonds will be paid back by the operator. At the end of that period, the operator becomes the owner. 

"If the revenue is there, you pay back the bond, if the revenue is not there, you can't pay back the bond," explained Muggridge. 

"At this point their response was satisfactory, that's going to be a wait and see," said Brooks. 

Brooks said he's not against the hospital and he thinks it would be good for the community in driving down healthcare costs. 

He's asked Lee County commissioners to include him in some of the planning stages. 

Folks who couldn't attend the meeting can learn more about the proposed hospital here

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