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USDA funding announcement slowed

By GREG SCELLIN

Signal Editor

Don’t expect to hear any bull dozers rumbling on the eastern edge of Geneva this week.

The planned August 31 announcement of USDA funding for the voter-approved Fillmore County Hospital (FCH) replacement hospital project has been delayed, according to FCH CEO Paul Utemark.

“I’ve been told we’re kind of in limbo right now,” Utemark said. “It’s one of those things that the USDA is kind of floating along on. They’re waiting on Washington right now. I think this could, possibly, be a political thing, too.”

Utemark said the new target approval date the FCH Governing Board and the FCH administration is looking at is September 20. He said it can’t be much later than that because the program, which the funding pool is supposed to come out of, is slated to expire on September 30.

“There’s no panic here on our end,” Utemark said. “We’re adjusting our calendars. We’ll just have to wait another three weeks before doing much with the new hospital.

“Everyone we’re dealing with tells us things will work out. I still think we can get things done on a similar time schedule as before.”