Independent TribuneNews Officials discuss possible impact of new healthplex

Officials discuss possible impact of new healthplex

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CMC-Harrisburg could bring 150 jobs, healthy economic impact to Harrisburg, surrounding area

By Jonathan E. Coleman
[email protected]
Several members of the Harrisburg Town Council got their first in-depth look at plans for a proposed healthplex near the intersection of Interstate 485 and Rocky River Road.

After the meeting called by Harrisburg officials specifically to have hospital officials give the council an update, council members pledged their support, saying it fit the type of slow, smart growth Harrisburg needs.

Carolinas HealthCare System proposed a $23 million healthplex that would include a 24-hour emergency department, two endoscopy procedure rooms, an imaging and diagnostic center and a women’s imaging center on a 31-acre site near the Mecklenburg County line.

The project is one of four similar facilities planned for the greater Charlotte region — the others being located in Kannapolis, Steele Creek and Waxhaw.

CMC-NorthEast president Mark Nantz told council members that a healthplex offers “everything short of a hospital bed. We believe that the healthplex is a portal to provide access to a high level of care to people where they live.”

CMC-Harrisburg would operate under the license of CMC-NorthEast and would have access to that hospital’s resources as well as those of CMC-University.

With Harrisburg’s population projected to continue to grow in the coming years, Nantz explained that CHS wants to grow alongside the town. Building a healthplex is a more efficient way to do that than constructing a full-fledged hospital given the proximity of CMC-NorthEast and CMC-University, he said.

“Given the current growth and development patterns in Harrisburg — we want to be where the people are,” he said. “And Harrisburg seems to be where people want to be.
“If you’re going to grow, we want to grow with you.” 

CMC-Harrisburg would bring about 150 new jobs with an average salary of $56,500 per job, said Nantz. 

Because CMC-Harrisburg would be a not-for-profit agency, the facility would not pay property tax, but additional revenue for the town could be realized by increased property values around the center and new development that would likely follow, Nantz said.

“I’ve been looking forward to having this meeting just to give us a more in-depth look at the project,” said councilman Bob Scaggs. “There seems to be a perception that we’re anti-growth, and we’re not. We want to slow down growth. We certainly don’t want to throttle back so much that it hurts current businesses. We want to partner with folks like (CHS) that are going to help us grow smart.”

The next step to continue moving the project forward is to extend sewer lines to the site. 

Nantz said CMC-NorthEast is prepared to contribute up to $250,000 to the sewer line, which is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete. The facility itself would take an additional 24 months, but some work could be done on both projects simultaneously.

“We’re here to partner with the hospital,” said mayor Tim Hagler. “We all know that we have our work cut out for us. The heartbeat of that development is the Fuda Creek sewer line.

“Whatever we have to do, I think we have some commitment from the hospital. We’ve got some commitment from developers and we’ve bellied up to the table.”

• Contact Jonathan E. Coleman at [email protected] or 704-789-9105.


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