The city of El Reno is expected to finalize within two weeks the purchase of land where a new healthplex will be built.
The site for the new “hospital” will be at the Crossroads Pointe Development. The development is being created by El Reno businessmen Paul King and Ron Ward and rests just north of I-40 and east of U.S. 81.
Council agreed Tuesday to a conditional use permit needed for the property.
Mayor Matt White said the plan is to “still have a groundbreaking” by mid-October for the $10 million healthplex. White said construction of a new hospital-related building must go through government channels such as the state Health Department as well as FEMA. He said those hurdles are being cleared.
El Reno is purchasing just under 2.5 acres for $10.50 per square foot. The city will build the healthplex and lease it to SSM St. Anthony’s which will operate it for the benefit of the El Reno area.
SSM St. Anthony’s will buy land adjacent to the healthplex for use as a clinic and for offices for physicians and related services. That structure will be built and owned by SSM.
In other business, council:
• Agreed to a new plan for golfers that will require those wanting a discount for regular play to either pay the annual fee up-front or agree to a monthly automatic bank withdrawal.
Some golfers have apparently been signing up for the auto pay, but have canceled it during hot months or cold months. This has caused course personnel to have to try and track them down to get payment.
Councilman Bob Ballhorn said he and White met with members of the Recreation Authority Advisory Committee and came up with the plan.
“We’re not the bank,” White said.
He said the course relies on regular payments and provides the discount for those who agree to the 12-month plan.
“Our costs go up,” White said. He pointed to fertilizer as an example.
Council agreed that anyone who misses two monthly payments during a year will not be eligible for the regular play discount.
• Tabled a mid-term salary adjustment of $7,988.38 for City Manager Jeremy Frazier. Council agreed to take up the issue at the next council meeting, but to do so in closed executive session.
• Tabled a request by Jim Murphy to rezone property on Country Club from Family Residential (R-1) to Commercial Office (CO). Murphy would like to transform a house just south of Golf Course Drive into an office for his real estate company. Residents in the area have protested the move, but White said efforts are being made to resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction.
• Approved an ordinance change that will allow oil and gas drilling in rural areas of El Reno without noise barriers being erected as long as 100 percent of the property owners within 1,000 feet of the drill site do not object.
Drilling in areas near homes will still be required to erect the noise barriers, but drill sites where there are very few homes could avoid the expense as long as the nearby residents do not object.