“I think there were four things that effectively caused the demise of this project,” said Meredith. A lack of vision is sorely missing, a lack of leadership, petty self interest and ignorance, were all statements made by Meredith. “If we are going to try and bring new jobs to this community then we are going to have to have more of a global picture then what we do. The hospital was the one who said we would step up and take this thing on but we didn’t know we would have to do it by ourselves,” said Meredith. “Everybody says they want to be a better community, few people take the definitive action to make it a better community, I think that goes back to leadership or the lack of it. You know if you look at the people that contributed to this project, I think it’s rather ironic that of all of our local elected officials only three; Mayor Thomason, Wales Montgomery and Kelly Stevenson, were the ones who made a pledge or contribution to this project. So what does that say? If our elected officials are not going to be supportive of it, I don’t know how we can expect our populace to be supportive of it.”
He said the third thing that hurt the project was “petty self interest.” Meredith said the hospital not only took on the responsibility to oversee the project but they offered $1 million and the land for the Healthplex to be built on. He said if anyone else had made this offer there would have been a parade on their behalf but he said the hospital has been criticized and chastised. He made mention of the hospitals rehab center would have been moved to the Healthplex and then TLRMC would have paid a yearly amount of $200,000 to the Healthplex to help with the daily operating expenses. He said somewhere along the way there were questions about what the Healthplex would do to the two physical therapy places in Leitchfield that are not associated with TLRMC. Meredith said both of those entities worked for TLRMC and then left the hospital. Meredith said “In my mind I built their business while they were here and then they left us but for some reason it’s not fair what they perceive an action that would place them at a disadvantage. Which wouldn’t at all, we don’t have 100% of the business now, plus we were going to build this thing at our own expense and then rent it from ourselves at $200,000 a year to make the project support itself.”
The forth thing was “pure ignorance,” said Meredith. He said he received a letter from a lady who wrote “What are you trying to do; this is not Elizabethtown or Bowling Green.” Meredith said “And with that attitude we never will be.” He said the four reasons made for a lethal concoction that will keep the Healthplex from coming to fruition.
Meredith said the hospital will lose approximately $750,000 they spent on a marketing campaign and architectural fees. He said if the project were to ever germinate itself the architectural drawings are prepared and ready to use.
Meredith said the hospital came to an agreement last year to borrow $1 million if the City of Leitchfield would also borrow $1 million to bridge the gap in the money raised and money needed for construction. He said the city never showed an interest.