Clarinda Regional Health Center

(Clarinda) -- Clarinda Regional Health Center has cleared another hurdle in its proposed expansion project.

At its regular meeting late Wednesday afternoon, the Clarinda City Council unanimously approved a resolution to proceed with the issuance of hospital revenue bonds not to exceed $9.5 million. Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon tells KMA News the action is one of two involving bonds for the project, which will be paid back through hospital revenues.

"They do have to split it up into two different issues," said McClarnon. "The total amount is not to exceed $12 million. This initial one is for $9.5 million. We've also, as a city, issued some bonds this year, and you cannot go over a certain dollar amount. That's why the amounts are going to be split up on this."

McClarnon adds other paperwork awaits the hospital following the bonds' issuance.

"Of course, you know, we're working with a law firm in Des Moines on this," he said. "They will put together the next phase, which is a preliminary official statement. That has to be done, and that has to be approved, once its reviewed. Once they go through that process, there's a lot of paperwork that has to be filled out and signed. Once that happens, then they are allowed to put it out for bid."

Speaking at the council's previous meeting, CRHC CEO Chuck Nordyke says the project entails adding a surgery center, a facility for physical therapy and remodeled space in the existing hospital for pharmacy and specialty care. Nordyke told the council another large portion of the project involves expanding parking on land east of the hospital.

"It's obvious if you've been out to the hospital recently you know there is major, major issues with parking," said Nordyke. "So the plan is to reroute some of the drive around. We still have three points of entry for ambulance and for emergencies, so we feel very comfortable with that."

The project comes on the heels of the hospital purchasing the former Walker-Merrick-Eickemeyer Funeral Home that was converted to space for mental health services. McClarnon expects legal and bonding matters for the project to be finished by the beginning of the new year.

In other business, the council approved resolutions obligating funds from the city's urban renewal tax revenue fund for payment of tax increment financing obligations for the 2022 fiscal year. The TIF agreements include Boulders Inn Clarinda LLC for $55,285, and Justin and Megan Walter for the Walnut Hills Subdivision for $50,000. Council members also approved a task order for construction administration and services for Clarinda Municipal Airport's runway rehabilitation project.

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