Column: An update on how the hospital sale money has been utilizedAs you may recall, the city of Worthington closed on the sale of our hospital on June 30, 2008, and the City Council wanted to provide constituents an ongoing update regarding where the sale proceeds have been allocated.
By: Craig Clark, City of Worthington Administrator, Worthington Daily Globe
As you may recall, the city of Worthington closed on the sale of our hospital on June 30, 2008, and the City Council wanted to provide constituents an ongoing update regarding where the sale proceeds have been allocated. Much progress has been made over the last year on the initiatives that Council has directed with the funds from the hospital sale. As a new year is upon us, it is important to provide you with an update on ongoing efforts.
The sale of the hospital was $21 million and also produced an additional $5.6 million from remaining assets that were placed in accounts associated with “Legacy” and “Impact” projects. The legacy funds targeted long-term assets, and the impact fund was intended to make an immediate difference in our community. It is important to specifically note the funds from the sale of the hospital have been very purposefully segregated from the general operations funding of the city.
Legacy projects that have advanced over the last year include the new fire station ($4.525 million) that is close to being enclosed and otherwise ahead of schedule for an October completion date. The new senior center ($1 million dedication) continues to progress at the former YMCA site with demolition complete. Bids will be taken in March to ensure the project remains within budget and provides a permanent home for active older adults.
As we look forward to spring, you will see progress on the 59 North Commercial and Industrial Park intersection. This will provide a significant enhancement to the future park by providing the initial entrance into the park and pairs $1.4 million of city funds with $3.3 million of state grant dollars to make this intersection become a reality. This also provides further enhancement to the Biotechnology Park and the anticipated hotel and events center project on the east side of 59 by making Bioscience Drive a fully functioning intersection.
Prioritizing other Legacy projects had the City Council creating an endowment for an equipment reserve fund for future capital expenditures so that these items can be taken off the general fund and our long-term needs for snow plows and police cars can have a more stable funding source. To grow and maintain quality jobs and the services they provide, the City Council also committed to a $400,000 loan for the Southwest Mental Health Agency that will be repaid back to the Legacy fund over 30 years.
Impact projects over the last year also made progress with the Parks Advisory Board completing the Freedom Veteran’s fishing pier ($18,831), installing restrooms at Millard Walker Park ($71,700) and siting new basketball and a volleyball courts in Centennial Park as well as enhancing the old courts just off Clary Street ($39,800).
Other impact initiatives were partnering with the hockey association and providing $135,000 for much-needed improvements to the arena. The Biotechnology Advancement Center has been wrapped up and the fueling station at the municipal airport was brought to a conclusion last year. Ground has been broken for the airport hangar buildings and the crop chemical spray pad and warehouse will begin in June, with all of these be completed in 2012. We will see individuals playing tennis at the new courts this spring, and the police department will complete their transition interoperability of their radios as required by the FCC to round out the impact projects.
As you can see, many projects have been completed and several more are in various stages of being completed. This has been a significant undertaking by the City Council and city staff members who help carry out the plans. As a community we have a lot to be thankful for; that was all made possible with the sale of the community hospital. I hope you have found this update to be helpful.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your councilmen or City Hall. Here is a financial breakdown:
Legacy Funds ($21 Million): Senior Center Construction $1 million; Fire Hall $4,525,000; Aquatic Center $4.5 million; Commercial/Industrial Park Loan Payoff $1,010,010; 59 North Intersection Improvements $1.4 million; SW Mental Health Loan $400,000.
Impact Funds ($5.6 Million): Biotechnology Advancement Center $220,000; PD Technology Improvements $198,000; Radio Improvements for the PD $500,000; Worthington Rediscovered $300,000; Design 59N Comm/Indust Park 2010 $305,000; Airport 5 Bay T-hangar 2012 $534,518; Dayton House 2010 $80,000; Airport Fuel System 2011 $107,502; Airport Spray Pad/Bldg 2012 $70,000; Parks & Rec Discretionary $119,669; Freedom Veterans Fishing Pier $18,831; Millard Walker Park Restrooms $71,700; New Centennial Basketball/Volleyball Courts & Enhanced Clary St Court $39,800; Web Page Redesign 2010 $8,800; Tennis Court ISD 518 Joint Project 2011 $235,000; Clean Water Partnership $50,000; Senior Center Dedication $500,000; Hockey Association $135,000; Equipment Revolving Schedule $100,000.
Worthington Health Care Foundation ($5.5 million): Not regulated by the city of Worthington; governed by a separate board.