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Letter: Langley decision must not be driven by vow to hospital

Megan Doyle’s recent article, “Hospital leaders push parkway” (Monitor front page, Jan. 18), has prompted me to respond.

Former CEO Mike Green stressed Concord Hospital’s involvement as a longtime partner in the design and implementation of the Langley Parkway project and its commitment to completing the last stage, as planned. Private/public partnerships to fund municipal projects can certainly be beneficial. However, the suggestion here is that the hospital has a long-standing commitment from the city to proceed with construction and to build in conformity with the design paid for, at least in part, by the hospital. In other words, the city might have something close to a contract with the hospital over which the taxpayers have little or no control.

City officials at recent public hearings seemed reluctant to talk about the terms of any agreement with the hospital affecting the third phase. I am concerned that the city’s decision to proceed with the third phase not be driven by a commitment to the hospital that taxpayers have not approved. It would be more fiscally and environmentally sound to reimburse the hospital for some of its financial contribution to the project than to build a highway which has yet to undergo a truly independent and objective environmental assessment and cost-benefit analysis.

Most would agree that we are fortunate to have a top-notch medical facility in Concord and that the first two phases of the Langley project have served the hospital and the community well. A decision not to proceed with the highway extension would not detract from the value of the hospital or the benefit achieved with the existing Langley Parkway.

JIM KRUSE

Concord

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