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Weerts, UHD ink contract

By Staff | Sep 7, 2009

A dispute between the Weerts family in Winnebago and United Hospital District (UHD) was resolved on Tuesday night.

The Weerts family had donated the land for construction of the new Adolescent Treatment Center in Winnebago, operated by UHD.

However, Bob Weerts and his son, Jonathan, were at a previous UHD board of directors meeting with a complaint.

They said the construction site appeared to be larger than the land they intended to donate, and a 200-foot strip of land was not part of the deal.

The UHD plan for the treatment center had the area in question as part of the geothermal well field. The area in dispute is two acres in size.

At their board meeting, UHD directors learned the controversy has been settled.

Board attorney Chuck Frundt says a revised contract was written and has been signed by the Weertses.

“This revision includes an easement right to the two acres,” Frundt says. “It also calls for UHD to make any repairs to anything damaged during construction.”

Project engineer Mark Mensing says the area has three drain tiles, and those are the items which could be damaged.

The UHD board authorized the revised contract to be signed by the board officers.

One board member, however, was not happy with all of the terms in the contract.

Jane Poole questioned if the price of the two acres in question was really $50,000.

“Does Bobby Weerts really expect us to pay that amount for two acres of land? — where did he come up with that number?” she asked. “What is land selling for around here — isn’t it $5,000 an acre if you are lucky?”

Jeff Lang, UHD administrator, responded that the purchase clause is just an option for five years, and does not mean UHD is committed to a purchase.

In other business, Lang informed the board that a date has been set for the groundbreaking for the new clinic addition at the UHD campus.

“Things went so well at the treatment center groundbreaking in Winnebago that we plan on doing this one exactly the same way,” Lang says.

The date set is Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The actual groundbreaking shovel event will take place at 6 p.m.

One item the board needed to take care of Tuesday was to vote on a possible conflict of interest item dealing with the groundbreaking ceremony.

Lang says the staff wants to hire board member Norm Hall’s wife, Michelle, to do the DJ/music at the groundbreaking open house.

“Our conflict of interest policy is strict and so we require a board resolution to authorize us to hire her at a cost of $250,” Lang says. “It has to pass unanimously.”

The board did OK the hiring on an individual voice vote.