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Hospital's road accord moves project forward

December 23, 2004

The Washington County Hospital's proposed move to the Robinwood area took a big step forward this week when the County Commissioners approved an agreement to upgrade roads there.

The $1.7 million pact should go a long way toward allaying the fears of local residents who believe that total gridlock will result without a plan for dealing with the additional traffic the new hospital would generate.

The pact is the result of negotiations that have been going on for at least a year, according to hospital officials.

The funds the hospital will contribute will help upgrade Robinwood Drive between Medical Campus Road and Md. 64 and parts of Edgewood Drive and Mount Aetna Road.

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The first $750,000 of the fee will be paid within 45 days after the issuance of the building permit, with the other $1 million due a year after that. If there are construction delays, the fee will increase, county officials said.

But even if the hospital is annexed into the city, the money will still be due to the county government.

Is it too much to hope that other issues related to hospital's proposed move could be settled as well?

We hope they can be, because we continue to believe that locating the hospital next to the Robinwood Medical Center would have a wealth of benefits.

Doctors who staff the trauma center could see patients at the medical center on the days that they're on call, even if their primary offices aren't there.

When traffic issues are worked out, the new site should provide quicker access from Interstate 70 and the southern part of Washington County.

But the best argument in favor of the site, provided Maryland can resolve malpractice insurance issues, is that a new, state-of-the-art facility should attract the best medical professionals.

We congratulate county government and hospital officials on the successful negotiation of this pact.

It should demonstrate to all that it's possible to work through major differences if the parties demonstrate respect for each other and work in a professional manner.

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