• Last modified 1698 days ago (Nov. 20, 2019)


City OKs new hospital lease

Staff writer

Hillsboro city council members had some housekeeping to do before a court-approved sale of Hillsboro Community Hospital can be closed.

Council members Tuesday approved a new property lease with the hospital. The city owns the land the hospital occupies.

Tyler Heffron, the Wichita attorney who has worked on the hospital bankruptcy case for the city, presented a new 18-year, eight-month lease that lowers the rent and extends its end date.

“As an element to approve the sale of the hospital, needed was a change in the lease,” Heffron told council members.

Heffron said the court is working to set a closing date for the sale, with the target being the first week of December.

The new lease agreement includes monthly payments of $5,500 from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 1, 2037. From Jan. 1, 2038, through June. 1, 2039, rent payments change to $65,600. For July and August of 2039, payments will be $65,600.

Renee Gehring was sworn in as council member, taking the seat previously occupied by her husband, Jonah Gehring. Jonah Gehring was sworn in Monday as a county commissioner. Council members agreed to start working on strategic planning.

“I think this is critical for us going forward,” mayor Lou Thurston said. “I know you guys have set some directions in the past, and some of those projects are still coming into fruition, but what happens next? We need to set a direction.”

City administrator Larry Paine talked to council members about possibly developing a land bank program to identify and remove dilapidated and decrepit houses from tax rolls until the land can be restored to productive use.

Council members discussed, then tabled, an ordinance pertaining to special purpose vehicles.

They also learned it will cost $15,460 to remove asbestos from houses the council purchased in June to demolish for building a downtown plaza.

Last modified Nov. 20, 2019