Letter to the editor — March 29, 2011

 Dear editor,

It appears from the article in the Wednesday, March 23, paper that Allen County and Iola have an outstanding opportunity for the new hospital.
Purchasing 20 acres at $5,000 per acre versus 17 acres at $35,600 per acre or more. This is a “no brainer.”
Even after obtaining the expensive land on East Street, backfill will be necessary to cap the land in order to comply with EPA standards, because this used to be the Walton Foundry. That price tag will also be very expensive. The north site will not require all of the EPA compliance work, it’s always been farmland.
The City of Iola could work to annex the property (if not already done) for tax, fire zone and utility purposes. Access off of U.S. 169 would be easier and more visible than through the usual congestion on East Street. The location would be great for a helicopter pad.
Either place will need new or upgraded utilities and surely that can be accomplished with the $520,000 savings.
City expansion can then begin along the U.S. 169 corridor north from U.S. 54 and might even invite in new businesses, perhaps even a second grocery store.
It’s time to look at the best use of our taxpayers dollars for the benefit of all of Allen County. If you look at where Fort Scott, Neodesha and Paola built their hospitals, it’s easy to see that it will work. Unless there is some dark mystery that we haven’t been told, every consideration needs to be given to this offer.
Thank you Sally Huskey for this unselfish and generous offer without any underlying agenda.

Mary L. Saxton
Iola, Kan.

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