City of Hebron takes over clinic building
Hebron city officials are trying to jumpstart a medical clinic after purchasing a former clinic building for $1 on May 2.
"It's a good building and we'd sure like to have medical services in the city of Hebron," said City Council President Kenneth Rehling.
The Hebron Hospital Board dissolved after the sale, former member Keith Wallin, said.
However, board members will likely still offer advice to council members if needed, he said.
The hospital board tried to attract medical entities to set up an office in the building, but had no luck, Wallin said.
"We had a tough time trying to keep it going," he said.
Council members are optimistic about the building's future.
"If there is a possibility of doing it, we'd like to do it," said Chester Brandt, city councilman and member of the Hebron Community Economic Development Corporation. "We're going to explore all the avenues."
Some options council members have discussed include having a clinic open just a few times a week and cost sharing, Rehling said.
"If somebody would indicate an interest, you know, then we could sit down and do some serious negotiating, but everything we have now is hearsay," he said.
The building, which is located on East Main Avenue, is valued it at over $500,000, Brandt said.
It also houses a dental office and chiropractic office on the second floor. The main floor has sat empty for years, awaiting a medical doctor to move in.
"There's a bunch of visiting rooms in there, there's a doctor's quarters, things like that," Rehling said. "There's a lot of equipment in there yet. Some of it's antiquated. The X-ray machine should be replaced, but a lot of the other things can be used."
City officials may be willing to make necessary improvements to the space, he added.
"We have all the plans and things to make it a viable clinic," Rehling said. "We have all the plans and recommendations to do that, but we would sure like to have somebody indicate an interest before we do make the changes."
Though the building was originally intended for a hospital, it was always used as a clinic, Rehling said.
Different doctors and clinics inhabited the building over the years, but the facility closed because of lack of business and funding, he added.
"We're going to make an effort to try to find someone to go in there and hopefully the community will support it," Rehling said. "There are more people moving in, so hopefully it can support itself."
What will become of the building if a medical center is not possible hasn't been discussed by the city council, Brandt said.
"The number one focus is a clinic or some kind of medical facility," Brandt said. "That's what we're lacking in our small town is any kind of medical facility. We've got basically all the other amenities, but no medical facilities."