November 8, 2007

Hospital Approaches City Regarding Possible Land Deal For New Helipad

Representatives from Scotland County Memorial Hospital presented a proposal at the November 1 Memphis City Council meeting regarding a possible land deal.

SCMH Administrator Marcia Dial and Maintenance Director Jamie Kice met with the council to discuss a recent land acquisition made by the hospital and to present a proposal for another possible transaction.

Dial indicated the hospital had purchased the former Wayne Eggleston property, which is located south west of the hospital.

With the continued expansion of the hospital we are basically outgrowing where we are at, Dial said. We hope this move will allow the public better access to our facility.

Kice asked the city to review the existence of an alleyway on the property. He stated the hospital is interested in creating a new access to the facility and asked the city to consider the possibility of eventually opening the alley as a city street.

Right now we just have the one entrance off of Watkins Street, Kice said. So we have our normal traffic, plus truck delivery traffic congesting the same drive that is used for emergency access.

Street Superintendent Roy Monroe indicated that typically the creation of a new street is the responsibility of the developer. Following the completion of the street, the city then takes over the maintenance and upkeep.

Monroe noted that a normal city street is at least 20-feet wide with 20-feet of right-of-way on each side.

He recommended the first step in the process would be to review the status of the alley by checking at the assessors office to verify its existence.

The property is located directly west of the Scotland County Recreation Center owned by the city. Dial asked the city to consider possibly selling or leasing the ground located north of the pool hall to the hospital to be turned into a dedicated helicopter landing pad.

The amount of helicopter traffic at the hospital continues to increase, Kice said. We use the parking lot for a landing zone, but that requires clearing the vehicles and a lot of manpower to secure the area and insure safety.

Kice noted the property south of the hospital would allow SCMH to build a 60-foot square landing zone and leave enough area for a secured buffer zone to insure safety.

Dial added that this project would also allow the hospital to continue reviewing the possibility of expanding the hospitals emergency room.

Mayor Roger Gosney asked the hospital to verify the alley and to return to meet with the council regarding the street project at which time the other property could be discussed as well.

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