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Friday, February 5, 2021

St. Elizabeth Identified as Proposed Health Care Facility for DAV Property

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has an agreement with developers and Disabled American Veterans to bring a health care facility to the former DAV property in Cold Spring.

 

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Update, Cold Spring Mayor Angelo Penque statement:

"Media reports indicating that St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the healthcare provider interested in locating on DAV site is tremendous news for the people of Cold Spring and all of Campbell County. We applaud the developer Al. Neyer for partnering with an outstanding provider on this important and visionary project. 

I have been working for years to bring a quality healthcare provider to the city in an effort to expand care for not just Cold Spring but the entire community. A project of this scope will bring quality jobs, investment and tax revenue to the community.

The City of Cold Spring will continue to work on making this project a reality."

by Robin Gee, city council beat editor 

Officials acknowledged today that St. Elizabeth Healthcare is the healthcare provider that has entered into an agreement with developer Al. Neyer and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to build a facility on the property owned by the DAV located at 3725 Alexandria Pike in Cold Spring.

"We have been working with Neyer as the healthcare partner for this development. While we do not have definitive plans at this time, we look forward to expanding access to quality healthcare in the Northern Kentucky community," said Sarah Wice-Courtney, director of communications and public relations for the healthcare system.

What we know so far

At a special council meeting on January 13, Cold Spring city attorney Brandon Voelker said the proposed facility would have an estimated value of 80 to 85 million dollars and would create about 240 jobs with an average annual salary between $85,000 and $95,000, according to information shared by city of Cold Spring officials earlier. The agreed upon purchase, price for the property is $6.5 million.  

As of press time, St. Elizabeth did not confirm any details of the project, but is expected to share more information as plans unfold.

The city of Cold Spring council recently approved purchase agreements that would make the city the official purchaser of the property through an agreement between the developer and the city. The city plans to issue industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) or similar financing to ensure payment of applicable taxes. 

RELATED: Cold Spring Holds In-Person Special Meeting to Discuss DAV Property After Complaints Over Procedures

Campbell County schools’ interest in the property


The city has been in a what might be called a battle of wills with the Campbell County School District. The District is also very interested in the property as a potential site for, what they describe as a much-needed new middle school to serve the northern part of the county. The school district has begun proceedings for condemnation that would allow a taking of the property under eminent domain.

A court is expected to rule on the condemnation within the next 90 to 120 days. As a step in the process of condemnation, a commission of three county residents were selected to determine the fair market value of the property. Under eminent domain the owners of a property should be compensated fairly for the property seized.

The commission ruled last week that the property is valued at $5.5 million. It is not clear if the school district has the funds available or even if the schools will proceed with the condemnation. Right now, a lot is up in the air as the schools await the court ruling and explore issues on the property, including a main gas line that will cause difficulty for whoever ends up with the land.

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A standstill for now, but possibilities for the future


At their January meeting, city council members voted to approve all the related purchase agreements and to also authorize city officials to move forward with a complaint against the school board for interference in their purchase. Yet, council also approved the mayor and city attorney to seek to negotiate with the schools to help them find a different property within the city and to provide financial assistance to help offset the costs of building a new building.

According to Superintendent Dr. David Rust, in addition to the size of the property (approximately 30 acres), a main reason the district finds the DAV site so attractive is the building on the property. School officials have toured the building and believe it would be suitable with some renovation. A renovation would make the project much more affordable than constructing an entirely new school building.

Immediately following the city council meeting, Voelker emailed Dr. Rust to ask if he might be willing to meet. 

According to documents obtained by Fort Thomas Matters, at first the superintendent said that was a possibility but then followed up with a response that he wanted to wait until the district’s own architects and engineers had fully evaluated the DAV site—and to wait until the city’s motion to intervene is resolved in circuit court. 

The city had proposed a possible alternative in a 28-acre parcel of land near Crossroads Elementary. Dr. Rust said the district had already evaluated that site and found it unsuitable due to the topography and other factors.  

RELATED: Cold Spring Moves Ahead With DAV Purchase, Offers Schools Assistance in Finding Alternative Sites 


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