Assembly to consider parcel for CPH

Central Peninsula Hospital is looking to acquire some land adjacent to its current campus.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will decide Tuesday whether to give the final stamp of approval to move forward with purchasing the parcel at its current assessed value of $134,300 plus no more than $1,500 in closing costs.

The property at 146 West Corral Avenue in Soldotna went up for sale in June and the CPH Board of Directors approved a resolution to purchase the property later in the same month. In August the borough Planning Commission passed a motion recommending the assembly approve the acquisition.

A one-story, 960-square foot home sits on the 0.31-acre parcel, which is located to the southeast of the main hospital building. It is zoned for limited commercial use, which according to the ordinance the assembly will consider, is appropriate for hospital-related uses.

Hospital CEO Rick Davis said as properties on West Corral Avenue have become available, the borough has been purchasing some of them for future expansion.

“We don’t make very good neighbors; we make a lot of noise,” Davis said about the hospital.

The last parcel purchased for hospital use on West Corral Avenue was in 2011, which contractors for the Specialty Clinics Building project are currently using.

The hospital doesn’t have any short-term plans for the parcel under consideration. However, it might be possible to use the house for meeting rooms or for additional space for project contractors, Davis said.

Marcus Mueller, borough land management officer, said the parcel owners agreed to sell the property at assessed value and a purchase agreement was drafted. However, property inspections following the draft revealed a water leak that caused about $22,000 in damages, according to a re-evaluation completed by the borough assessing department.

“Proceeding with the acquisition in its as-is condition based on the original price of the assessed value is recommended because the purpose of the acquisition is long-term hospital campus expansion,” Mueller said. “And that’s where the interest is in the acquisition over the particulars of property condition.”

According to the unapproved minutes from the Aug. 11 borough planning commission meeting, the question was raised about whether the property owners had flood insurance that would cover the water damage.

Mueller said he received notice Wednesday that the insurance company denied the insurance claim for the damage.

“If the hospital decides to tear down the structure and use the property for other purposes, then the water damage is really moot,” Mueller said. “If they were looking to renovate it into a medical office space then there might be some amount of cost that that would translate to during the renovations.”

The CPH Plant Replacement and Expansion Fund is the proposed funding source, with no hospital service area tax funds proposed as a contributor.

Communications about the possible purchase of the property began in April 2013, but according to a letter from Davis to Mueller, owners decided not to sell the property at that time.

In the Envision Soldotna 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the property is within the proposed healthcare overlay district. The overlay identifies areas for the healthcare industry to expand and provides for more certainty and guidance in future development as well as residential protection areas, according to the plan.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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