Feedback: Samaritan 'Unlikely' To Build On Site

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Story Updated: Oct 30, 2013

Samaritan Medical Center is 'unlikely' to build an assisted living facility and nursing home behind the Samaritan Medical Plaza on Outer Washington Street in Watertown, because of an issue involving wetlands.

Samaritan is looking for alternate sites.

Hospital spokeswoman Krista Kittle said Samaritan is considering eight alternative sites, each of which must be at least 15 acres.

Kittle confirmed the owner of one of the properties is Carthage developer Michael Lundy.

Wednesday's announcement is a major change for the project. The design of the facility is likely to chan ge somewhat if it moves to another location.

Samaritan is seeking other sites because it needs to begin work on the project soon - and finish in 2012 - in order to keep a $34 million grant from the state.

A spokesman for the state Health Department said theat despite the snag, the state is willing to work with Samaritan to complete the project.

Samaritan may have to revise the 'certificate of need' it received from the state for the project.

After Samaritan purchased the land behind its medical plaza from the Watertown city school district, a wetland was discovered. An expert hired by Samaritan concluded the wetland would apparently fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and sorting what could and could not be done with the land would take more than a year.

The project is part of an intricate three part arrangement that led to Samaritan taking over the operation of the nursing home at the former Mercy Hospital in downtown Watertown.

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