Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to increase a countywide sales tax by 1⁄4 of a cent to go toward a new Allen County Hospital.
Members of the Allen County Healthcare Committee address questions about the issue.
Q: Where would a new Allen County Hospital be located?
A: The commissioners of Allen County have announced their preferred site. It is located on the north side of U.S. Highway 54 at the east edge of Iola between the new Citizens Bank building and the new Family Physicians building — between 1200 and 1400 East Street. The site is over seven acres and adjacent to several other parcels of land that if acquired would provide a total area of over 20 acres. The present hospital sits on less than three acres.
Before making a decision, the commissioners looked at several sites with consulting engineers and some key members of the Hospital Facilities Commission. Members of the Hospital Facilities Commission had visited several new hospital locations in the region and could compare the sites of the new hospitals they had seen with the options here. The engineers were asked to verify the sites were not in the flood zone; to estimate the cost of acquiring the land for each site, and what it would take to extend utilities, improve streets and prepare the site for construction.
The goal was to obtain a visible, accessible location with the needed space that could be acquired and developed for the least net cost to taxpayers.
The budget for the land acquisition and site preparation in the Allen County Hospital Master Plan that was released in August for the replacement option included three numbers: land and land improvements, site demolition and site improvements. The total of these three line items was $1,592,088.
For more information on the budget for the replacement option go to allencounty.org and click on the Allen County Hospital Master Plan Report tab at the top of the page.
The page is 117. We will touch on some other budget points in future questions and answers.
If you agree with us and would like to help our voter information effort with your time or your money we can use both. We expect it to take several hundred volunteers to get the word out with only a few short weeks before the election. Volunteer names or contributions may be sent to “Yes Allen County Healthcare,” at A.C.B., Inc, 16 W. Jackson, Iola, KS 66749 or left at the Moran, Humboldt or Iola branches of Emprise Bank where we have our checking account.