City approves option

for health clinic lot

The Hillsboro City Coun­cil approved a land purchase option June 22 that could lead to the establishment of a not-for-profit medical clinic that will treat low-income clients in Marion County.

Hillsboro physician Michael Reeh, who is spearheading the project, will be submitting an application for a federal grant that targets underserved medical customers.

Reeh was not present at the meeting, but had requested an option to purchase a city-owned open lot on the west side of the 100 block of South Washington Street.

Accord­ing to City Admin­i­strator Larry Paine, securing a street address for the clinic was a required step in the grant application process to establish Marion County Com­munity Health Center Inc.

Paine said Reeh has already been approved for 501 c(3) tax exempt status.

“His next step in the grant application process was to get a piece of land tied up so that within 180 days of the grant award, he can get the building up and commence operations,” Paine told the council.

The purchase option contract with Reeh is similar to the ones the city has used with other property purchases. The land price is $10,000 with a $1,000 deposit. The option will expire Jan. 16, 2017.

The contract stipulates that if Reeh does not exercise the option because he did not receive the grant, the deposit will be returned.

Title insurance will be split 50/50 between the buyer and seller; Hannaford Abstract and Title will hold the escrow and handle the closing.

The lot, which for many years was a church parking lot, was reclassified from Central Business District 10 years ago when the city adopted a new zoning code.

“We will process a rezoning case on behalf of the medical clinic at our expense,” Paine said. “Here again, rezoning will be contingent upon the successful grant award.”

According to a floor plan submitted to the city, the building will be 64 feet by 41 feet, which will provide 2,640 square feet of space for a waiting area, four exam rooms, two consultation rooms, two procedure rooms, a lab, a business office, nurses station, break room, storage and restrooms.

Paine said Reeh was looking at a prefabricated building through Ramtech Building Systems in Mans­field, Texas.

According to the contract with Reeh, the site plan will go to the city plan­ning commis­sion for review.

The council voted 3-0 to approve the contract. Coun­cilor Brent Driggers was absent.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• approved the appointment of Matt Wintermote as a full member of the Hills­boro Fire Department upon the recommendation of Fire Chief Ben Steketee.

Wintermote, who is now age appropriate for full participation, recently turned 18 He participated in the depart­ment’s junior firefighter program during high school.

In addition to serving as a volunteer firefighter, Winter­mote also is pursing credentials as an emergency medical responder.

• reviewed the budgeting format Paine will be using to construct the city’s budget for 2017. The public hearing for a final version of the 2017 budget is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 2.

• discussed a variety of street repair or replacement projects needed around the city. McCarty prompted the discussion by mentioning significant curb issues in the 400 and 500 blocks of West Grand Avenue in front of the middle/high school.

Paine acknowledged the need, but also identified potential Community Development Block Grant projects involving North and South Birch streets and North Washington and North Lincoln streets, as well as the need to rebuild East B Street between Main and Adams streets once construction of the fine arts center at Tabor College is completed.

• briefly discussed a request from the museum board to hire a part-time employee who could lead tours as well as perform some cleaning and light maintenance duties.

The council agreed there is a need for such a person, but noted the employee should report directly to the city administrator.

No action was taken.

• received forms from Mayor Delores Dalke to be used to rate Paine’s job performance. The city’s auditing firm requires the city to conduct annual evaluations of all staff.

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