The big news last week was the announcement by Lee County Commissioners that a new 50 bed hospital, estimated at $30 to $50 million, will be constructed on the grounds of 9 holes of the Grand Island golf course.
The taxpayers of Lee County should be thrilled, since you may recall the 160-acre golf course was purchased by the county for $1.
It is a shame to lose the golf course, but this Ledo Road location was always prime real estate for development, as evidenced by Walmart paying $3 million for 22 acres for their location next door, and the new Prince Chevrolet dealership happy to locate on the corner lot.
There is really no downside since taxpayers are in no way responsible for the costs of construction, or to repay any of the investment associated with the hospital.
The hospital will generate a substantial annual payment in lieu of property taxes in an equivalent amount. For example, if the hospital is assessed at $50 million, the payment would be $640,000 per year.
The hospital will not only create 200 new jobs, but they will be high paying jobs. It will also support the continued growth at our local universities such as our nursing degree program at Darton.
We also hope the hospital will serve as a catalyst for more future development.
The second 9 holes of the golf course offer 4 additional commercial sites, which, we are told, are now being considered by at least one major retailer.
This new hospital should only enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Southwest Georgia.