Pell City Council Approves $ 2 Million Payment to St. Clair County for Former Hospital Site | New

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

At its regular meeting on Monday, council approved a resolution that will allow the city to appropriate the old hospital site for $ 2 million while eliminating any debt the city has associated with the property. City manager Brian Muenger said the money for the purchase will come from the city’s reserve funds.

He said the county commission would review its approval of the deal at its regular meeting on Tuesday morning.

City Attorney John Rea said the city and county had a common interest in the property since 2011, when the two entities worked with the St. Clair County Healthcare Authority and St. Vincents to build the current Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair. At the time, an agreement with the authority required the county to issue a $ 4 million general bond mandate with the city and county sharing the interest payment on that debt.

Rea said the agreement the council passed would require the city to pay its $ 2 million principle share of that debt to the county and become the sole owner of the property. The deal as approved indicates that the city wishes to use the property to encourage a commercial development project, but Rea said any action on a development project will take place at a later date.

““ The city will be in a position for the city to decide how it intends to use this property in the future, ”Rea said.“ If the city intends to use it for a development project economic, which has been discussed, would come back with approval in the future with all appropriate public notices, public hearings, etc.

Muenger told the St. Clair Times in May 2020 that a deal was near but was scuttled by the onset of the pandemic. The site went unused for many years after the new hospital was built in 2011. The old hospital building was demolished in November 2019. The property itself is next to the McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealership. and Ram and not far from Walmart and Home Depot.

Muenger said the city continued throughout his tenure to seek development options in concert with the county.

“Acquiring it in conjunction with a development has been what we have been working on throughout my tenure with the city,” he said. “I think in the coming weeks we will most likely be releasing additional public notices on this upcoming development which I think people will be very excited about.”

City Council Chairman Jud Alverson said beyond who owned the property, the deal also frees the city from a 10-year-old debt that was holding the city down to pay $ 100,000 per year.

“Separate and apart from ownership and who is or who is the owner,” the president said. “The city is obligated, and has been obligated for over 10 years, as a 50/50 partner with the county, we share a $ 4 million debt and we take our half out.”

Muenger said servicing the debt was a burden on the city she would be happy to walk away from.

In addition, the advice:

– Approved the combination of two part-time positions at the Civic Center to create a full-time Administrative Clerk position and changes to the job description for the positions of Revenue Supervisor, Administrative Accountant and Accounts Payable to reflect the Deputy Director of Finance position;

– Approved the hiring of a street supervisor at a salary of $ 45,714.40 and an Assistant Director of Finance at a salary of $ 63,294 both salaries are based on education and experience according to the salary scale normal of the City;

– Approved the setting of a date for a public hearing for 25 grass-related nuisance cases on December 13;

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

– Approved resolution granting a special use permit to Verizone for 5g upgrades to equipment at 15th Avenue South;

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

– Resolution approved authorizing a one-time bonus of $ 1,441.96 for eligible full-time employees and $ 729.66 for eligible active part-time employees to be paid with American Rescue Plan Act funds

– Approved the purchase of 2,500 feet of 12 ”Ductile Iron Pipe For Water Projects by the Utilities Department at a rate of $ 31.26 not exceeding $ 80,000; and

– Approved a leakage credit for the Dollar General located on Martin Street South in the amount of $ 1,230.38

Taylor Mitchell is a Daily Home reporter who covers Pell City.

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