Fifteen months into construction, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vt., won state certificate-of-need approval to complete a $55 million, underground parking garage after long disputing it needed to apply for a CON at all. The 510-bed hospital had contended it did not need a CON because the garage was being financed and built by a third party, an investment bank that is a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase. Giving up its battle with the state, Fletcher Allen applied for a CON last month and agreed to pay $320,000 in administrative fees and reimbursement costs. The parking garage is being built in conjunction with the hospital's "Renaissance Project," a $173.4 million addition to its existing facility. Granting the CON for the garage, state healthcare regulator Elizabeth Costle said a denial could have resulted in the default on $55 million of construction financing and $150 million of tax-exempt bonds for the Renaissance Project, possibly shutting down the addition. The garage should be completed by December 2004, hospital officials said. -- by Susanna Duff
Garage dispute ends with a CON for Vt. system
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