Hospital working with governor's office to reschedule groundbreaking
HORNELL — New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo was expected in Hornell on Thursday, but was forced to cancel his plans on Wednesday.
Cuomo was due in the Maple City at 11 a.m. for an invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornellsville.
"The planned groundbreaking was a ceremonial event, and was an opportunity to involve and give credit to New York state for the significant support in the form of more than $60 million the state has provided to transform healthcare here in Hornell," St. James Mercy Hospital Communications Director Dustin Hewit explained.
In an email to local officials, the governor's office apologized for the inconvenience and promised to reschedule, though no date had been selected for his return as of Wednesday.
Cuomo last visited Hornell in November of 2016, to deliver state aid for expansion at transit manufacturer Alstom.
It was speculated that response to Hurricane Maria, which hammered the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday, would require his full attention as New York state National Guardsmen and state troopers had been deployed to the islands in relief of Hurricane Irma.
"Just as we have already done for Texas, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, we stand ready to provide any necessary assistance to help Puerto Rico and other communities recover. We are also closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Maria, including its potential impact on the Dominican Republic this evening," the governor said in a statement on Wednesday.
St. James Mercy Hospital has received a large state investment. In July, Cuomo announced that the hospital would receive $7.9 million to develop its new facility on Seneca Road.
In 2016, the hospital was awarded $54.9 million in funding for the new facility and the implementation of a state-of-the-art Electronic Health Records (EHR) system.
St. James Mercy Hospital was notified by the New York State Department of Health that its Certificate of Need (CON) application related to the new hospital construction had been approved in May, clearing a major state hurdle prior to construction. However, it is not the last before shovels can be plunged into the earth.
The hospital must obtain one more letter of approval to proceed with construction.
Necessary municipal steps like rezoning and the subdivision of property were recently completed by the Town of Hornellsville in preparation for construction.
Construction is beginning as scheduled. Projections earlier this summer placed the start date "in the fourth quarter of 2017."
The hospital is due to move into the facilities at 7301 Seneca Road North in early 2019.