Hospital trustees inch towards site progress

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July 27, 2011 - 12:00 AM

It was ever so slight, but there was a hint of optimism at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Allen County Hospital trustees.
“We think things are looking up. More so than in the last month or so,” said Harry Lee, board chairman.
Other than the admission that trustees still are reviewing possible sites, they were mum about anything specific after emerging from a 55-minute executive session. The only sign of progress was the likelihood that before the week is over, trustees would call for another special meeting to request geotechnical evaluations on a parcel of land.
Last Thursday trustees met in a special meeting to discuss 19.3 acres the City of Iola offered to the hospital. After two hours in executive session, trustees said they had nothing to report on the land to the west of Cedarbrook Golf Course.

WHEN PRESSED Tuesday night by members of yet another large audience, Lee reiterated trustees’ goals for the site of the new hospital, including that visibility and accessibility remain top priorities as well as easy access to utilities.
The long process of securing a site has been “frustrating,” Lee admitted.
“Every site needs to be properly evaluated” he said. “Lots of things are involved in the determination. We’ve discovered there’s no perfect place, and yet we hope when we decide on a site, it will be an excellent addition to the county.”
Trustees nominated fellow members Tom Miller, Patti Boyd and Lee to represent the hospital board in discussions with Iola City Council members Jim Kilby, Steve French and Ken Rowe when a site is selected for the hospital. The two bodies will “hammer out an agreement,” Lee said, regarding utilities and other arrangements for the process of locating the hospital on city land.

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