At last month's meeting, Brazil Family Medicine, Dr. David Breitweiser's family practice, requested to designate an area within Clay County as an economic revitalization area for the purpose of a ten-year real property tax abatement to construct a new medical facility.
During last month's meeting, the council approved a seven-year tax abatement, but this month they decided to approve the full 10-year abatement that was requested after Breitweiser presented his plans for the new medical facility.
Breitweiser said he has been practicing medicine for 14 years and has been in a rental position in the current building for almost 10 years. Presently, he is looking to expand.
"They estimate a requirement of about 1,500 square feet in an office space per physician, and we've got five providers and about 4,500 square feet, so you can do the math and see that it is a little tight," Breitweiser said.
Breitweiser bought property that was clear for a housing development project. He currently owns 9 acres, with 4.5 acres involving the building project.
"We acquired some property down by South Murphy," Breitweiser said. "Our project involves construction of a new office building with plans of making it even bigger to accommodate transitional suits, tenant spaces and room for visiting specialists -- for patients to access care by specialists without driving to Terre Haute or further."
He plans to have 7,500 square feet for the initial office suit with tenant spaces in wings off to the north and south of the building.
"My goal is that all the other tenants will be affiliated with primary health care in some way," he explained, "not just family doctors like us, but specialists and services that will provide for patients on site, exceptions being we're not trying to compete with the hospital."
Breitweiser said the projected ground breaking is supposed to be sometime in the next three-six weeks.
"The planning phase is winding down," he said, explaining their goal is to use as many local companies and materials as they can.
"Part of our project is bringing work to Clay County," he said.
Depending on weather, Breitweiser is hoping to have the project completed in six-eight months.
Based on the current tax rate and the estimated cost of the building, which could change, a 10-year abatement would result in payment of $79,200, and a 7-year abatement would result in a payment of taxes in $95,000, leaving a difference of $16,000.
However, the five additional employees would offset the cost through CAGIT. President Mike McCullough mentioned additional employees could also increase.
"This is my baby, and it's just a matter of how much I can get done up front," Breitweiser said to the council. "I really have gone above and beyond for the city, putting forth a tremendous amount of work to keep the work local."
After much discussion, the council modified the resolution to a 10-year abatement and approved it.
Meanwhile, the final budget was approved. It will now be submitted to the Department of Local Finance for final approval.
Other issues discussed during the October council meeting included:
* The council transferred funds from the Rainy Day Fund to the 911 Fund, which can no longer fund itself. The $129,000 that was transferred will go into effect on Oct. 31, leaving the Rainy Day Fund with around $1.4 million,
* The council passed without comment non-binding reviews,
* Various additional appropriations were approved,
* Ordinance #18-2011 and #19-2011, both salary ordinances, were approved, and
* The council approved a pension plan for IRS requirements for the Sheriff's Department.