TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rep. Kelly grills VA on Butler outpatient center

Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Rep. Mike Kelly is demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs explain why it stopped construction on a $75 million outpatient center in Butler and whether the facility will ever be built.

“The veterans and other constituents in Western Pennsylvania continue to have a number of questions about this project and even more in the light of recent developments,” Kelly wrote in a letter dated Wednesday to VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.

Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Josephine Schuda said Thursday that her agency would respond to the congressman before addressing media inquiries about the questions he raised. Kelly set an Oct. 4 deadline for the VA to provide him with answers.

“Is there any consideration to terminating this project all together and instead focusing on upgrading care, facilities and processing at the current Veterans Hospital facility in Butler?” Kelly asked.

On Aug. 9, the VA terminated the lease on the outpatient center being built by Westar Development Co. of Aurora, Ohio, accusing it of “false and misleading representations” during the bidding process. The VA had stopped work June 21 based on an investigation by its Office of Inspector General “of the prime contractor and certain company representatives.”

Kelly asked for a copy of the Inspector General's report or for the VA to explain the “false and misleading statements.”

Westar President Sam Calabrese did not return messages.

Westar won a contract in May 2012 to build the outpatient center on property adjacent to the VA's Butler Township campus and lease the clinic back to the VA. Kelly has criticized the lease agreement, saying it cost too much. Kelly wants to know how much the government has paid Westar and if it recovered any money from the company.

The Tribune-Review submitted a formal request for records related to the project in August and is awaiting those records.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Butler

  1. Mars Community Pool  not likely to reopen in 2015
  2. Adams man faces trial on charges of misusing stepdaughter’s student loans
  3. New book boasts of Butler being home to 1st Jeep
  4. Zelienople company builds on Christmas lighting tradition
  5. Allowing website access a school dilemma
  6. Butler set to approve contract allowing part-time police
  7. Zelienople revitalization projects considered essential
  8. Regional police department to make its debut Jan. 1
  9. Butler County residents work to make house tours memorable
  10. Freedom Road traffic to be restricted in Cranberry
  11. Seneca Valley Middle School begins countdown to liftoff
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.