GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF) – At the Columbia County Hospital Authority meeting on Thursday, board members voted unanimously to approve the issuing of bonds that will fund the building. 

The land off of Gateway Boulevard is already being cleared.

Trey Allen, the chairman for the authority, said the next step is for the bonds to be closed on at the beginning of November, and then construction can begin.

“At that point, we’ll have funding and we’ll be able to really crank up the work on getting the hospital started,” Allen said.

He thinks the Wellstar-AU Health partnership has made a big difference.

“Wellstar coming into the arrangement, that’s made it much easier on us and much easier on the taxpayers of Columbia County,” Allen said. “We’re actually in a far better situation without having to put out any taxpayer money.”

This is good news for some county residents who think the development is needed.

“I mean you can never have enough hospitals and it’s about twenty miles from Augusta, and it’s on I-20, so if you ever have a wreck on I-20 you’re a lot closer,” said Steve Henderson.

Other residents we spoke to aren’t thrilled with the location, but still think it’s a step in the right direction.

“Where they’re putting it in Grovetown, it’s not the best location, it’s super congested right now,” said Darra Ballance. “But, they’ve had so many hospitals close in Georgia, I’m not against opening another one. And it’s another place for our students and medical residents to teach and learn, so I’m fine with it.”

And with more people moving into the area, authority leaders are happy it’s finally happening.

“It’s not something we look forward to, being able to go to the hospital,” Allen said. “But, having that resource for our people is vital to us growing as a county and continuing to offer the top level service that we want to offer the people of Columbia County and our citizens.”

He said the hospital is still expected to be completed by 2025.