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St. Mary's is not a facility that was built in the 1930's as Tennova keeps saying. (Along with saying it's an 83 year old facility.) Parts of it are that old, but six of the eleven buildings date from the 1970's, 80's and 90's. That's from the Certificate of Need application filed when Tennova predecessor Mercy Health sought to build the new hospital in Powell. That same application showed a renovation plan that showed the old buildings demolished, a new tower and a new general services building. That argument was used then to justify a new hospital. Now it's being abandoned along with the neighborhood around St Mary's. The old and decrepit claim is just spin used to justify their planned move.
The traffic study Tennova did was only for Middlebrook Pike, the minimum required by state law. No study was done of the surrounding streets, and it apparently won't be done prior to the final council vote on rezoning. It defies common sense to vote to rezone for a hospital to be built without a thorough traffic study. Tennova doesn't want to pay for it. They say they are waiting for the city to kick in some funds.
You can't separate the zoning vote from the hospital use. It's like saying that waving a white towel in the air during a battle is simply drying your laundry. It has an obvious significance. The sole reason Council voted on rezoning is because Tennova requested it to build their hospital.
Finally, Tennova doesn't even need the rezoning. The current Agriculture-1 permits a hospital and the Accessory Use section of the Municipal Code allows medical office buildings (the reason Tennova gives for the new zoning). They want the zoning so they can tell the state board that grants Certificates of Need that the city supports their plan because they rezoned as requested. Also, as a hedge to build medical offices or to simple increase the land value if they fail to get their Certificate of Need.
Council passed the first vote 5-3. They have a chance to redeem themselves and serve the city's best interests at the second vote Oct. 1.
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