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Couples relieved their homes not part of UHD plans

By Staff | Dec 15, 2008

The owners of these two homes will continue with remodeling plans, now that they are not part of UHD’s multi-million dollar expansion.

A Blue Earth couple supports United Hospital District’s expansion and renovation plans estimated to cost $15 million.

But, they were relieved when they found out their property is no longer needed for the project.

Al and Paula Nuessmeier say they received a letter last fall from hospital administrator Jeff Lang telling them UHD officials have found other options.

“He assured us they don’t need our land. We can now do remodeling that we put on hold,” says Al.

The Nuessmeiers replaced five windows and did some re-wiring before being contacted in November 2007 about selling their house.

After a counteroffer was made by the Nuessmeiers, interest in their property, and a neighbor’s, faded.

Last month, a meeting with Lang convinced the homeowners UHD did not need their lots for the project.

“I’m pretty sure they’re expanding as much as they want,” Al says.

The hospital district already has purchased three properties that will be used for the proposed construction and renovation.

Lang has told the Nuessmeiers, and Greg and Becky Keebaugh if they are ever interested in selling, they should contact him.

The Nuessmeiers have lived in their house since 1980, and the Keebaughs in theirs for 10 years.

After Al and Paula got the “good news,” they had a new sidewalk put in and now want to make their home more energy efficient. Ten more windows need to be replaced, says Al, along with better insulation.

“The work on the house is long overdue. The windows are original,” he says. “I didn’t want to get started then get contacted about selling my property. If I start, I’m going to continue and we’re not moving.”

Although they never considered selling their house, the Keebaughs were willing to listen to what UHD officials had to say.

They, too, delayed making needed improvements because details of the hospital’s ‘campus plan’ were not definite.

“For better part of a year we’ve kind of been in a state of limbo,” says Becky. “We didn’t want to put any money into the house not knowing if we were going to live here.”

For now, the Keebaughs will be doing basic upgrading most homeowners do, says Becky.

Greg and Becky understand the hospital district’s commitment to improve the quality of health care for area residents. They also realize that may come with some small inconveniences.

“We’re not crazy about being in the middle of a construction zone or next to a parking lot when the work is completed,” says Becky. “But, we don’t have a choice.”