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Monday, December 14, 2020

Cold Spring Plans for Health Care Facility to Replace DAV

Cold Spring Mayor D. Angelo Penque announced a major health care facility is in the planning stages for the former Disabled American Veterans (DAV) site.

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by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

The city of Cold Spring is looking toward the development of a large health care facility on the property being vacated by the Disabled American Veterans, according to Mayor D. Angelo Penque.

Last week, DAV officials announced their operations will move from the longtime location at 3725 Alexandria Pike and build a new facility in Erlanger. 

The mayor told Fort Thomas Matters he and city officials have been working on attracting a large health care facility to the city for more than two years. They had been speaking with health care providers and exploring a variety of options, when they first learned of the DAV plans to move. Over the past year, they have been talking to developers, the DAV and a large health care provider about the property’s potential.

While Penque did not want to name the health care provider at this time, he did say that developer Al. Neyer has a contract with the provider and the DAV and is on track to make a formal announcement soon. 

In a brief email to council members about the deal, he said, "While DAV leaving Cold Spring creates a void, I was pleased to be approached by the DAV and Al. Neyer, regarding the development of a medical facility. Included was a continuation of DAV as part of the project, so while the DAV may not physically be located in Cold Spring, its legacy will allow for continued benefit for the veterans it serves." 
Dan Ruh, executive vice president at the Al. Neyer Cincinnati location, confirmed the company has a binding agreement with the DAV for redevelopment of the site. He echoed Penque's message that the DAV will continue as a partner in the redevelopment project and that a health care-related facility will be a large part of the development.

Penque listed several reasons why he has been advocating for a health care facility ever since he became mayor – and why he is excited about the plan. 

"I see a lot of ambulances going down 27 and people could die on their way to St. Elizabeth (in Fort Thomas) right now," he said. He said he has long felt the need to have a health care facility much closer to the city.

"Aside from medical services, the proposed medical facility will provide countless well paying jobs, also vital to the economy of not only Cold Spring, but Campbell County. I have received calls of encouragement from members of the Campbell County Fiscal Court regarding the redevelopment of the site for something to serve all of Campbell County, a medical facility and jobs."

As a nonprofit (503C), he noted, the DAV did not pay property taxes to the city. The city did receive payroll taxes, but these have been dwindling in recent years as the organization was forced to lay off workers. "Right now, we stand to lose about $90, one point it was $130,000."

Still, higher paying hospital jobs will bring in much more in payroll taxes he said, and there will be new property taxes for a facility that could be worth millions.

There has been some talk of the Campbell County School District’s interest in the property. The schools have been exploring ideas for the location of a new middle school. Fort Thomas Matters reached out to Campbell County Schools Superintendent, Dr. David Rust, who delayed comment until after the District's school board meeting this evening, December 14. 

Property acquisition is on the agenda for an executive session at the upcoming school board meeting Monday night, but the agenda does not specify which property officials would be discussing. 

Penque said he has not spoken with the superintendent or anyone else from the school district about the property or other development plans.

He said he is excited and looking forward to sharing more details on the former DAV property as they unfold.

RELATED: DAV Move: A Bittersweet Parting as Cold Spring Considers Future Potential

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