The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 11, 2013

Talks continue on Clinton health care clinic location

By Scott Levine Herald Associate Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The group investigating locations for a new health care clinic still needs more information about the potential sites.

The three options discussed Monday were the same three as last week — the lower section of Chancy Park, green space and parking lots south of the Roosevelt building on Seventh Avenue South and South Fourth Street, and the area south of Hy-Vee.

All three have potential, group members said, but issues remain on all three choices.

The development to Chancy Park would be focused on a parking lot and a damaged tennis court.

Although the Clinton Historic Preservation Commission voted to OK potential development to Chancy Park, worries persisted regarding Community Health Care Inc.’s placement in another park.

The last location targeted, the parking lot adjacent to Clinton Park, caused several groups to come forward in opposition for various reasons, including preservation of park land.

Sister Anne Martin Phelan also said the Chancy Park location isn’t as centrally located as other options.

“In the downtown area, there’s land,” Phelan said. “We just have to find it.”

The area south of Hy-Vee is still a possibility, but more information needs to be relayed to Hy-Vee regarding the specifications. CHC Chief Executive Officer Tom Bowman said he forwarded information regarding the clinic to Hy-Vee Assistant Vice President Peter Hosch. The business is reviewing the plans and more information will be known later.

The final site, the lot on Seventh Avenue South and South Fourth Street, also will require more discussion.

Bowman said the area appeared a little narrow for the group’s specifications. However, he wouldn’t be sure until he looked at the site.

The group would have to meet with the Clinton School Board regarding the land, and although councilmen-elect Ed O’Neill said he’s heard from board members that they would be willing to sell the property, City Administrator Jessica Kinser said there have been developers interested in the Roosevelt building, making it possibly more difficult to secure the land to the south of the building.

If parking was an issue for future developers, there is a parking lot to the west of the building, group members said.

“The next approach is to go to a school board meeting for an up and down vote,” O’Neill said.

Ideally, the clinic would be centrally located and off public transportation. The clinic is expected to have 3,600 medical and 1,920 dental visits annually and employ 14 full-time equivalents.

CHC secured a federal grant to construct the 12,000-square-foot facility. The grant requires construction of a new building and does not pay for land acquisition. In turn, the city would sell the land to CHC for $1. The project also has to be substantially complete by September.

“The perception is that it’s a city project,” At-Large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf said. “But it isn’t. It’s a community project.”