Donors to Girardville Medical Center Project to Get Some Money Back

GIRARDVILLE -- People who donated money in an attempt to build a medical center in Schuylkill County won't see a doctor's office, but they could get a refund.

This comes after a Newswatch 16 investigation into the fundraising efforts in Girardville.

After our story last week, Newswatch 16 has learned the committee to bring doctor's offices to Girardville raised about $30,000 and spent only $7,000.

The next checks may be refunds for dozens of donors.

Three members of the Girardville Area Medical and Professional Center project (GAMPC) met Thursday night after our story on donors who were wondering where their money went.

Some of it went towards the building's design. The rest remains in the bank and could soon wind up refunded to donors like Paul Houser.

"I'm glad it got straightened out and people will get their money back. There's a lot of people who could use a little extra money in this town," Houser said.

Five years ago, Girardville borough donated land in a community park for a medical center, hoping people here would eventually have a doctor in town.

But project leaders could not get Geisinger or any other medical group to supply doctors.

We met with two members of the committee who did not want to appear on camera, but both wanted to assure us of two things. Both said the medical center project is dead. And both said small donors will get their money back.

Paul Houser is glad because he's getting the $100 back that he donated with his late mother in 2012. But he would still rather have a medical center here so older people in Girardville would not have to drive a half hour or more for routine medical help.

"I don't know if they'll ever build a facility here. I'd love to see doctors down here, but there's not enough doctors to go around as far as what I understand," Houser said.

Members of the group have not set a date for giving donors their money back and not all will get a full refund.

A committee member says an anonymous donor gave $25,000 and that person has agreed to get back whatever is left over in the group's bank account after other donors are paid back.

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