City of Radcliff
United States of America

Printed in the News Enterprise, Sunday, February 19, 2017
Congressman Brett Guthrie was in Hardin County, stopped by my office
February 9 to discuss the location of the replacement for Robley Rex Veterans Hospital. During our conversation, it became obvious Radcliff’s offer of free land and the community’s questioning of the selection process for choosing a site for the hospital had gained attention at his level. My initial discussion with Guthrie was centered on the flawed process by the various Offices of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction. There is an obvious culture of waste, abuse, lack of accountability, and absence of responsibility in the VA hospital cost overruns that have recently been reported.
The OALC’s are supposed to be the watchdogs to insure the taxpayer’s dollars are spent wisely. In the following documented cases, the OALC’s have failed miserably without consequences: $350 million overrun in Orlando; $260 million overrun in Las Vegas; and a $370 million overrun in New Orleans. These three overruns -$980 million - are collectively more than the proposed cost of the
Robley Rex Replacement Hospital.
Additionally, the reported cost overrun for the Aurora, Colorado, Veterans Hospital is over $1 billion. When these cost overruns were approaching $500 million in September 2011 and were reported by a contract specialist to the OALC, the contract specialist was fired by the executive director of the AOLC. When these figures were approaching
$1 Billion, the executive director of the OALC was allowed to resign without
consequences, and reportedly, he was given a $50,000 bonus.
Ultimately, the people who will suffer from this lack of accountability and absence of oversight in these four example of waste, abuse, neglect and probably fraud, are the veterans who will lose two hospitals which equates to $2 billion toward the cost of potential care.
Representative Guthrie and I then turned our attention to the Robley Rex replacement hospital and the purchase of the Brownsboro Road site. The purchase was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, which
requires that an environmental impact statement be completed before land for a federal project is purchased.
The Louisville Veterans Administration Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction purchased the Brownsboro Road site on July 10, 2012; the draft EIS, a 527 page document, was published in October 2016, more thanfour years after the land purchase.
The EIS is a means of assessing a site purchase, not justifying a purchase already made. The Louisville VA is awaiting the final EIS before making their final decision. The questionable activity of the Louisville Veterans Administration OALC does not end here. The purchase is replete with questionable activity and decision making.
The Brownsboro Road site was purchased by Blue-Finley-Blue Properties, LLC on May 27, 2004 for $4,963,510.00. The property laterwas appraised for VA purchase at $9.8 million; it was reappraised, by the same appraiser, 14 months later at $12.9 million, and it was purchased for the higher appraised price by the Louisville Veterans Administration OALC on July 10, 2014.
I have spoken to hundreds of veterans about this purchase, and we find serious fault with this transaction. We suspect fraud, waste and abuse. We doubt that this purchase had anything to do with a more convenient and accessible veterans hospital for veterans. Apparently, our doubt and concern has been unsubstantiated by the Veterans Administration Inspector General (IG) who conducted an investigation into this purchase. In September 2015, the Inspector General’s office issued their report, which concluded the Louisville Veterans Administration OALC may have overpaid more than $3 million for the property.
It is extremely disappointing to us veterans that the OALC rebutted the IG report by writing more than 20 pages of bureaucratic verbiage, and the office suffered no consequences for their actions. What is also of serious concern to us veterans and should be of serious concern to every tax payer and patriot who wants proper treatment for veterans, is that the OALC culture of cost overruns has already started at the Brownsboro road site. The $3 million overpayment is not the only part of the site purchase that is surrounded by controversy. A significant component of the environment impact statement is community support. If the EIS had complied with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction would have known that residents of the city of Crossgate, the residential area that surrounds the site, strongly objected to the location. OALC would have known that the residents were concerned about the negative impact on property values because of the
proximity of tall buildings. They would have known that future expansion to the minimum 34.5 acre site was a serious threat to the neighborhood and they would have known about neighborhood traffic concerns. The most significant component of where to build the veteran’s hospital should have been the veteran. However, we somehow were lost in the process. When the new VA Hospital site was announced in 2012 by the hospital search committee, the following two quotes from WAVE 3 News accompanied the announcement.
“The size, the location, the utility available, the cost of construction, it was just a perfect site.” Any veteran served by the VA would never have endorsed that comment. Another quote: “that is why the panel of hospital leaders chose the Brownsboro site over nearly two dozen others.” A panel of veterans who use the hospital would never have chosen the Brownsboro site. Veterans south of Jefferson County who travel Interstate 65 for appointments, would have never
agreed to add the Waterson Expressway to that equation. These decisions were not made for the veteran. It is disingenuous when anyone, political or
bureaucrat, praises the men and women who so bravely served our country with accolades about the quality healthcare they deserve and then congratulate this site selection in the same breath. This site selection reeks of a lack of genuine concern for veterans. Don’t praise the veteran with words: reward the veteran with action. With the historic $3 million appreciation value of the Brownsboro site in just 14 months, imagine what the site is worth now. Sell the site, make a profit for the VA, accept the free Radcliff site of 50 acres and build
a hospital in a quiet, serene location where all veterans have been welcomed since World War I. I have a scheduled appointment with the Director of the RobleyRex VA Medical Center and I will personally deliver the unsolicited Proposal to him. With the help of Representative Guthrie, I plan to take our message to Representative Phil Roe, Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Also with Guthrie’s help, I plan to take our message and an unsolicited proposal to the new secretary of Veterans Affairs shortly after he is confirmed. Residentsof Hardin County and the surrounding area can have a significant impact on the location of the VA hospital. Please sign your name added to the list of supporters. Building the VA Hospital in Radcliff actually
could happen, but we need your help to have a fighting chance.

I support the Robley Rex Replacement Hospital being located at the donated fifty acre Radcliff site in the pastoral setting of serene rolling hills

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The I support the Robley Rex Replacement Hospital being located at the donated fifty acre Radcliff site in the pastoral setting of serene rolling hills petition to City of Radcliff was written by City of Radcliff and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.