File Photo: AJC

Future uncertain for planned Marietta VA clinic

The fate of an 80,000-square-foot veterans clinic that had been slated to open in Marietta is unclear after the Veterans Affairs Administration announced this week that it is starting the bidding process all over again.

The city council overwhelmingly approved the plan for 1263 Cobb Parkway last year with broad community support, despite some concerns over traffic. The setback comes as the VA seeks to close some clinics and open others as part of an overall expansion of services in the county.

“Clinic locations are chosen based on the needs of veterans through a competitive solicitation process,” the Atlanta VA said in a statement. “In the case of the previously scheduled Cobb County VA Multi-Specialty clinic, a decision by the U.S. Small Business Administration that the winning bidder did not meet the small business criteria now requires a restart of the competitive solicitation process. This will result in a delay in the clinic’s activation.”

The disqualified contractor was a construction firm called PH LLC. A spokesman for the VA in Atlanta said the clinic could “possibly” still be built in the same location, but the agency is required to start over.

The Small Business Administration did not immediately respond to emailed questions.

In May, veterans and local officials celebrated the opening of a new clinic on Roswell Road as the VA prepares to shut down an older clinic in Austell that had been, until recently, the only one in the county. More clinics are planned for Dallas Highway in West Cobb; Herodian Way in Smyrna and Bells Ferry Road in north Cobb.

Local veterans have welcomed the new facilities but remain frustrated with a perceived lack of communication from the VA.

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