Also: Dixon officials approve 23-acre travel plaza off I-80

Kaiser Permanente's $500 million Vacaville hospital will officially open Oct. 6 following a decision to delay the project in the wake of the ailing economy.

"With the change in the economy during the past year, we have made prudent decisions to manage costs and preserve our ability to provide high-quality care and service to our members and customers," Kaiser spokesman Jim Caroompas said.

"We have already made the investment necessary to build the Vacaville hospital, so the decision is really based on operating costs."

Initial projections for the Vacaville Medical Center called for an opening in April 2009, but officials announced a change in plans late last year. The facility was also initially designed to house maternity services, but those will no longer be included, according to the hospital's Web site.

Mr. Caroompas said membership enrollment has declined by about 1 percent since the beginning of this year and the center designed for a maximum 150 beds will open with 62. A 217,000-square-foot medical office building on the same campus was completed last November.

At the same time, construction on Kaiser's new $500 million Vallejo hospital tower originally set to open this year is continuing and will conclude next spring.

The organization currently has about 236,000 members in the Napa/Solano region.

***

Dixon City Council members gave final approval last week for the construction of a 23-acre travel plaza and restaurant near I-80, expected to generate about 90 jobs and add $500,000 to city coffers once it opens.

Builders of the $1 million Flying J truck stop and travel plaza are required to construct water, sewer and utility infrastructure as part of the approval, including the addition of a storm water basin.

The project includes two pump islands, a market, lounge, restaurant and parking accommodations for big rigs, recreational vehicles and passenger cars.

Submit items for this column to the Business Journal staff reporters by e-mail or call 707-521-5270.