Chamblee, GA, February 21, 2017 – by Trey Benton – Mercy Care officially broke ground in October of 2016 on its new 45,000 square foot clinic facility, slated to open in spring 2017 at the 5134 Peachtree Road location in Chamblee. But now, with the facility being largely completed, opening the facility that largely serves the poor and underserved, has been stalled due to “unexpected and complicated” DeKalb County sewer capacity issues.
Tom Andrews, President, Mercy Care Atlanta and Alan Bradford, Mercy Care Atlanta Chief Operations Officer, explains in a letter to stakeholders, partners and supporters in the Chamblee area, the issue stems from violations of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act followed by DeKalb County’s 2010 agreement to make major improvements to its sanitary sewer system and remediate limitations in its infrastructure and capacity.
“The county is requiring Mercy Care to make significant adjustments to the clinic’s wastewater handling system before we can obtain a certificate of occupancy,” the letter explains. “Because this requirement was only recently conveyed by the county, our project team—including contractors and architects—has been working closely with county officials to develop a feasible solution. With as much information as we have now—and details are still very much in flux—we anticipate resolving this issue and opening not before late April or early May 2017.”
Chamblee Mayor Pro-tem and City Councilman Brian Mock told The Post, “I just think it’s absolutely shameful that we have a beautiful new multi-million dollar facility ready to open its doors that will sit empty for another two months due to issues with the county water and sewer system. Another two months of healthcare denied to those in our community who need it most, all because the county can’t get their act together.”
Once open, the new clinic will more than triple the current service capacity at Mercy Care’s existing North clinic location, housed along the Buford Highway corridor, and will expand services to include optometry, ultrasound, radiology, integrated behavioral health and a variety of health education programs. Mercy Care also collaborated with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to provide on-site pediatric primary care.
“Our commitment to meeting the healthcare needs of the poor and underserved in Chamblee and the surrounding area is unwavering, and we are prayerfully envisioning a successful launch of Mercy Care Chamblee in a few months,” says Mercy Care in the letter.
According to the DeKalb Consent Decree and to comply with U.S. EPA and the Georgia EPD regulations, the County is prohibited from issuing any new or in-progress projects that have not received a Certificate of Occupancy without an acceptable sewer capacity mitigation plan in place. This primarily affects projects that result in a net increase in the amount of sewage output on sewer lines that have been identified as being at or near capacity, or on lines that have had a history of sewer spills.