Pell City Council approves $ 2 million payment to St. Clair County for the former hospital site | news


CITY OF PELL – Pell City Council approved an agreement to purchase the former county hospital site from the St. Clair County Commission.

During its regular session on Monday, the council passed a resolution allowing the city to take over the former hospital site for $ 2 million while eliminating any debt the city has attached to the property. City Manager Brian Muenger said the money for the purchase will come from the city’s reserve fund.

He said the district commission would seek their approval of the deal at its regular Tuesday morning meeting.

City Attorney John Rea said the city and county have had a shared interest in the property since 2011 when the two companies worked with the St. Clair County Healthcare Authority and St. Vincents to create the current Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair Build facility. At the time, an agreement with the agency required the county to issue a $ 4 million general arrest warrant, with the city and county helping to pay the interest on that debt.

Rea said the agreement passed by the council will result in the city paying its $ 2 million share of the debt to the county and taking sole ownership of the property. The approved agreement says the city wants to use the property to incentivize a retail development project, but Rea said any action on a development project would come at a later date.

“” The city will be able to decide how to use this property in the future, “said Rea. “If the city wants to use it for a business development project that has had some discussion, this would be done in the future with all the relevant announcements, public hearings, etc.

Muenger told the St. Clair Times in May 2020 that a deal is imminent but has been sunk by the pandemic outbreak. After the construction of the new hospital in 2011, the site was unused for many years. The former hospital building was demolished in November 2019. The property itself is adjacent to the McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships and not far from Walmart and home depot.

Muenger said the city had worked with the district to look for development options throughout his tenure.

“We worked towards acquiring it along with a development during my tenure with the city,” he said. “I think in the coming weeks we will very likely be making some additional announcements to the public about this upcoming development which I think people will be very excited about.”

City council president Jud Alverson said the agreement, in addition to asking who owns the property, also allows the city to get rid of a 10-year-old debt obligation that required the city to pay $ 100,000 a year to pay.

“Separate and separate from the property and who is or who is the owner,” said the president. “The city is committed to being a 50/50 partner with the county for over 10 years sharing a $ 4 million debt and retiring our half.”

Muenger said the debt service is a burden on the city, which she likes to get away from.

Otherwise, the council has:

– Approved combination of two part-time positions in the Civic Center to create a full-time position for administrative clerks and job description changes for financial supervisors, administrative accountants and accounts payable to accommodate the assistant finance director position;

– Approved the recruitment of a road supervisor for a salary of $ 45,714.40 and an assistant finance director for a salary of $ 63,294.

– Approved to set a public hearing for 25 incidents of weed harassment on December 13;

– Approved the extension of Louise P. Campbell’s grant writing services contract through September 30, 2022 for $ 16,500 per year;

Approved Resolution Granting Verizone Special Use Permit for 5g upgrades of equipment on 15th Avenue South;

– Approved a resolution granting T-Mobile a special use permit for 5g upgrades of devices on Blue Hole Road;

– Approved Resolution approving a one-time premium payment of $ 1,441.96 for eligible full-time employees and $ 729.66 for eligible active part-time employees paid through the American Rescue Plan Act

Approved Department of Utilities purchase of 2,500 feet of 12-inch ductile iron pipe for water projects at a price of $ 31.26, which cannot exceed $ 80,000; and

Approved a leak loan for the Dollar General on Martin Street South for $ 1,230.38

Taylor Mitchell is a Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.

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