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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

City holds public hearing on $30 million hospital project

On Tuesday evening, the city of Windom held a public hearing and received considerable public input and support for an upcoming funding decision on a $30 million hospital project.

The proposed medical office building would contain 57,000 square feet and be four stories high, and it seeks to solve space and growth challenges that Windom Area Health is experiencing. The current clinic would be demolished to make room for the structure.

At one of its next two city council meetings, the city council will vote to accept or reject the revenue bond bids soon expected to come in from financiers.

The public hearing lasted over an hour and had a three-minute speaking limit. There were over 30 people in attendance, and more than 20 individual voices were heard. The great majority supported the hospital project. Most of the speakers were employees of the hospital and emphasized how tight the hospital is on space, which is inhibiting growth. There were also many expressions of faith in the hospital governing board and the hospital’s administration in leading WAH to a sound medical and financial future. Past growth projects were cited as well planned and successful and setting a good precedent for the new facility being proposed.

One citizen wrote in and considers the project a waste of taxpayer money. Two other citizens at the council meeting offered comments of warning about making sure the debt is something the city can handle if it has to, as it is possible the city would have to bail out the hospital if it cannot meet its loan payments. They also cautioned about making sure there is enough local population to support the growth, especially considering other nearby hospitals.

The council and Mayor Dominic Jones thanked everyone for coming and giving their input, whether for or against the project.

For more details on this story, please see the Sept. 13 edition of the Citizen.

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