These exterior pictures from October 2020 show the condition of what locals refer to as the old Fitzgibbon Hospital building on Brunswick Avenue, in Marshall.
MDN file photo
It has been a year-and-a-half since the Marshall City Council has received an update on the demolition project for the former Fitzgibbon Hospital building. The building was condemned on Aug. 5, 2019, and the council approved a letter of support for The Nash Group who would be willing to come and replace the building on Brunswick Avenue with affordable housing.
At the council meeting on Nov. 16, 2020, Troy Nash representing the organization talked about the Missouri Housing Development Commission application. However, former-Councilman Ron Ott reported on Jan. 19, 2021, the first application for the project did not get approved.
During the council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, Troy Nash provided an update on the project.
We purchased that building some years ago with the intent toward demolishing and tearing it down and obviously making way for housing that is acceptable to the community, he said. Weve gone through two MHDC rounds. The first round consisted of us applying and having $1.9 million of cost above and beyond what MHDC thought was necessary. So as a result, we came back, we retooled the plan and was able to take $900,000 off the table with the redesign. But that million dollar price tag for the demolition or near million dollar still remains.
Nash explained this led the organization to ask federal people for help and were successful upon doing so. He stated as of July 12, 2021, the Housing Transportation Subcommittee passed an appropriation bill. Nash stated that the bill was $1 million earmarked for the demolition of the old Fitzgibbon Hospital.
It passed the House, he continued. It is languishing in the Senate, just sitting there. Were waiting were hoping, praying that they would pass the bill. So we made an application again and kept our fingers crossed that the Senate would act to pass the appropriations bill. Were hoping to get that bill moving.
Nash added it should have been passed in October of last year with the federal governments fiscal year. Be that as it may, he indicated they hit another bump in the road.
This Feb. 15 the second continued resolution expires, and given all that was going on with other legislative priorities, believe it or not, the federal governments appropriation bill got pushed back, he explained.
Nash noted the government operates on last years budget priorities rather than this one. He said thats where the $1 million is.
Thats where the holdup is, Nash concluded. Until we get the building down, were going to find ourselves in this position.
During the discussion, Mayor Julie Schwetz and a few councilmen asked questions in regard to the project.
If the tax credit avenue doesnt become available, what are our options? Schwetz asked Nash.
Any number of options, he told Schwetz. The fact that we own the building there are so many ways that property could be redeveloped. But the housing commission is just one.
MDN file photo
Councilman Robert Ashford asked even if The Nash Group does not get the federal funds there is a backup plan for any phase of the project. Nash told Ashford he is assuming and believes the Senate will act.
Once the building is demolished, we are just pretty much there, Nash said. Even if we were to go back to the commission, our application would look totally different.
Councilman Dan Brandt stated he thought there has been discussion about potentially the demo being considered less than what Nash estimates. Nash noted he could provide the Marshall City Council with the asbestos and demo bid, as well as meet with the city administrator.
But weve had a contractor that has discussed, you know, doing the abatement and demo at considerably less and its just talk at this time, Brandt explained.
However, he told Nash maybe he could speak with City Administrator JD Kerhman and see. Brandt indicated he thought the price was less than a million, yet that might change.
Well, I do know that the city remains committed to addressing the blight of the property and turning around for the citizens, Schwetz noted.
We can continue to work together, I could reach out to you as quick as tomorrow, Nash said.
After conducting other business, the council adjourned into closed session on Jan. 18, 2022, to discuss personnel matters.