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Local News

Report Cites Traffic Concerns Near Preferred VA Hospital Site

The federal government is likely to move ahead soon with purchasing property on Brownsboro Road to build Louisville’s new VA hospital. But first, officials are waiting for the completion of an environmental assessment later this month.

The assessment covers more than a dozen direct, indirect and cumulative effects the hospital will have on the area near the I-264 interchange. This includes environmental, cultural, and geological issues. The public will have a chance to comment on the report until April 29, and VA’s Bob Morey said he expects the property to be purchased within a month.

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Local News Next Louisville

Abramson Discusses Transition, VA Hospital

It’s unclear when the Veterans Administration will choose a location for a new hospital in Louisville. But Mayor Jerry Abramsons says he’s finished trying to influence the VA’s decision.

Last month, a VA official told WFPL a report on the viability of various hospital locations was forthcoming. The VA is considering building a new hospital downtown near other hospitals, at the current hospital location on Zorn Avenue or within fifteen miles of downtown.

Abramson and his colleagues have encouraged the VA to split their decision and put inpatient services downtown. He says they’ve made a strong argument, but can longer lobby the VA.

“We keep calling up there and they keep saying ‘Don’t bother us. We’ll call you, don’t call us.’ We don’t know how long that’s going to take in terms of the ultimate decision, but we’ve got all of our papers in—the University of Louisville, the city, the state—submitting it,” he says.

Others have encouraged the VA to avoid downtown and make all the services available at another location easily reachable by car.

Abramson made his comments on WFPL’s State of Affairs Tuesday. He also discussed his impending departure.

There are less than five months left in Abramson’s term, and he says he’s ready to help the new mayor move in to Metro Hall. Abramson built a transition fund into the current budget to pay for the next mayor’s transition team. Abramson says there will be offices and computers available for that team immediately after the election.

“We feel like we have sufficient funds to help them with the transition,” he says. “Then it’s up to me to work with the incoming mayor and my staff to show them the issues that are still open for discussion and to ensure they understand, as best we can in a month and a half to two months.”

Abramson has chosen to seek the Lieutenant Governor’s office next year rather than run for re-election this year.

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Local News

VA Still Studying Locations For New Hospital

by Gabe Bullard

The list of possible locations for a new veterans hospital in Louisville is being whittled down.

The new hospital could be located next to the existing one on Zorn Avenue, downtown near University Hospital or on a plot of land within 15 miles of downtown. The VA recently sought recommendations for land to purchase if the third option is taken. Facility Planner Bob Morey says a report will soon be released on the viability of the lots that were suggested.

“We went out and looked at the sites and evaluated them and we’re awaiting the final report as far as recommendations for the sites to include in the final steps,” he says.

Morey says he expects a location to be chosen by October of next year. Several local officials have asked the VA to put the hospital near others downtown, but many veterans say that location is too inconvenient.

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Local News

Officials Still Awaiting VA Hospital Decision

A decision on where to locate a new veterans hospital in Louisville is expected in the near future.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to announce a plan for new facilities in the next few months. Currently, the options are to build a new inpatient center downtown and keep the outpatient center on Zorn Avenue; to build inpatient and outpatient centers downtown; or, to renovate the facilities at Zorn Avenue.

But once a decision is made, VA facility planner Bob Morey says construction won’t begin for some time.

“We still have to do design, and then construction,” he says. “Whenever the decision’s made, it will probably go through some kind of public hearing process.”

Morey says it’s still possible that the VA Secretary could choose an entirely different location for the hospital, as well. The University of Louisville and Metro Government favor a downtown facility because of its proximity to other hospitals. Many veterans say the Zorn Avenue facilities are more convenient and renovating them would saves money.

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Local News

VA Holding Seeking Input On Medical Center Locations

The Department of Veterans Affairs will hold a public meeting Monday at 1PM at the Clifton Center to get input on where the VA should put a new medical center in Louisville.

There are three options for the new center. One is to build it next to University of Louisville Hospital. Another is to renovate the existing facility on Zorn Avenue. And the third option is to split services between the two locations.

VA spokesperson Judy Williams says the public will be able to share opinions on all three options at the meeting, and other input has already been sought.

“We did hold a focus group at the medical center and that included veterans, service organizations and other stakeholder representatives,” she says.

The VA secretary will make the final decision on the facility’s location.