Piedmont Medical Center receives state approval to build facilit - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Piedmont Medical Center receives state approval to build facility in Fort Mill

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FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) -

If you build it, patients will come.

Two giant companies have been fighting over where to build a new hospital in Fort Mill for almost a decade, now a judge has made his decision.

A South Carolina administrative judge says Piedmont Medical Center can build its new hospital at the corner of Highway 160 and 21 in Fort Mill.

This overturns a state decision to allow Carolinas Healthcare System to build the hospital.

PMC officials are confident they will be able to build the hospital, but Officials at Carolinas Healthcare Systems have 30 days to appeal the court's decision.

Tuesday's news was the buzz around Fort Mill.

"It's good to have a hospital nearby in the community. If there's an emergency, especially for older people, you have a short distance there. A few minutes could be the difference between life and death," said Fort Mill resident Joe Canestro.

"I was so thrilled for the people of Fort Mill, they're going to have a hospital right in the heart of Fort Mill. I can't think of something more important than a community having their own hospital," said Piedmont Medical Center CEO Bill Masterton.

The battle for the hospital began back in 2005 between PMC, CHS and Presbyterian Hospital.

In 2006, the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control awarded the project to Piedmont, but the other two hospitals fought back and appealed DHEC's decision.

In 2011, DHEC then awarded the project to CHS, but again the other two hospitals appealed the decision.

Presbyterian dropped out of the race in February 2013 and since then, the case went to the state's Administrative Law Court, where the ruling came down Tuesday.

"I can just drive right down the street. I'm getting older so we need convenience," said Fort Mill resident Sandra Crosby.

PMC officials say once built, the Fort Mill Medical Center will offer patients an array of specialized services, including a 24-hour emergency room and an intensive care unit.

The new hospital is expected to create 400 jobs for area residents.

Good news for Spring Farm's Peach Stand manager Ron Edwards, who's banking on the new hospital to increase his sales.

"I'm sure it'll go up as more people come in. Also, around hospitals is a lot of development, so it's only positive things for us. Very positive," said Edwards.

When WBTV asked residents who they preferred to own the hospital, most of them didn't have a preference, but were happy to hear a decision has been made.

"When it gets into battles between these big hospitals, just like business itself, it's all about money. I'm more into people's health," said Canestro.

Carolinas Healthcare Systems officials released a statement saying they're surprised and disappointed in the court's decision.

Officials plan to make a decision whether to appeal the court's decision or not in the near future.

Officials at PMC say the new hospital will generate substantial tax revenue for the community, including an estimated $2.8 million to the Fort Mill School District and more than $500,000 to the Town of Fort Mill.

The hospital will serve as a sister facility to Piedmont Medical Center, and Bill Masterton will serve as CEO of both facilities.

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