The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 29, 2013

Facility talks sent to planning commission

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — A low-income health care facility could become the newest development in the Liberty Square area between South Fifth Street and 12th Avenue South in Clinton.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting last week, Clinton City Administrator Jessica Kinser presented the council a referral from the Internal Operations Committee to allow the sale of property to Community Health Care Inc.

“This is not the first time the council has considered the sale of property to Community Health Care Inc.,” Kinser said.

She added that in 2012 the city considered the former property of Turner Metals for the health care facility, but an environmental study deemed the land unsuitable for development.

“So, the local group came together and presented some different property options and the one-acre parcel in Liberty Square is the area that was desireable to this group,” Kinser said.

To give the council some background on CHC and the need for such a facility in Clinton, Chief Executive Officer Tom Bowman and Sister Anne Martin of the Sisters of Saint Francis presented the board with information on the company and ensuing facility.

“This really is a great step forward in helping the uninsured and the underinsured of our community,” Martin said.

After the presentation, Clinton City Council members discussed what CHC would mean to the community and how it would affect other health care providers.

“Some of the members of the medical community seem to feel threatened that, possibly, your intent might be to cut into their clientele,” Ward 3 Councilwoman Beverly Hermann said.

Bowman assured the council that CHC had no intentions of disrupting the business within the community, but felt it would be beneficial to residents to have this type of affordable health care available.

“This community identified a need that fits very well with services that we offer in the Quad- Cities and I think we can make an impact on the need here in the community,” Bowman said.

The council decided to move the project to the city’s planning commission to discuss specific zoning changes. If the commission approves the sale, a 30-day public bidding period will follow because the one-acre parcel is in an urban-renewal that requires the sale to be at fair-market value.

According to Kinser, if there are no other bids, the city can transfer the land to CHC for the price of $1 with an agreement that states considerations other than cash, like job creation and economic impact of construction, would contribute to the final property sale.