WECT INVESTIGATES: Rep. Rouzer wants answers on VA clinic's $280k monthly rent

WECT INVESTIGATES: Rep. Rouzer wants answers on VA clinic's $280k monthly rent
Inspector General has completed investigation of bidding process for VA Clinic that led to exceedingly high rent payments to private company. (Source: WECT)
Rep. David Rouzer (Source: US Congress)
Rep. David Rouzer (Source: US Congress)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - US Congressman David Rouzer is now pressing for answers to troubles at the Wilmington VA Clinic.

Last month, WECT uncovered that taxpayers were spending $280k a month to rent the new clinic near the Wilmington International Airport. According to local commercial real estate brokers, that's about twice the going rate for prime medical office space here, based on square footage.

This discovery came after the clinic had been partially shut down for months due to water contamination issues. The VA told WECT they were at the mercy of their landlord, Summit Smith Healthcare of Wisconsin to fix the internal plumbing problems that were linked to the heavy metal contamination.

Earlier this month, after numerous questions from WECT about the continued rent payments despite the clinic being partially unusable, the VA announced it will seek reimbursement and damages from Summit Smith, due to their inability to see patients in the Wilmington VA's GI, Urology and Dental clinics since March.

On Thursday, Congressman Rouzer sent the following letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald regarding the internal plumbing issues at the Veterans Hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina, as well as the facility's lease agreement.

Months have passed without resolution to the plumbing issues at the Wilmington VA, which is unacceptable. Our veterans have been forced to find care at a non-VA facility in the community or drive a long distance to the Fayetteville VA Hospital. Veterans have made many sacrifices and they deserve the best care possible at a facility that is within a reasonable distance.

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