By the end of June 2021, it is anticipated that the new Carris Health - Redwood facility will be completed and the current hospital building in Redwood Falls will be vacant.

According to Keith Muetzel, Redwood Falls city administrator, as part of the hospital transfer agreement, the city will retain ownership of the building when that move takes place.

The question city leaders needed to answer is what are they going to with that building once it is no longer being utilized as a hospital.

That question was posed to the Redwood Falls city council at its Sept. 3 meeting, and the conclusion that has been reached is for the city to do its best to find another purpose for the facility. To that end, the council approved a request for proposals document seeking ideas and options for the future of that site. 

The request for proposals document is now available at city hall or on the city’s Web site. Proposals are being accepted now through the end of February 2020, said Muetzel.

City leaders are very interested in seeing this building repurposed as opposed to demolishing it, and Muetzel said it will be marketing the request for proposals in a number of ways to solicit ideas for the building.

Putting out the request early will give the city time to review the proposals to find out the one that will best suit the building and will best serve the community.

Tom Quackenbush, city mayor, said he recently was given a tour of the hospital facility by Bryan Lydick of Carris Health, and he said the building is in great shape and provides a lot of potential for a prospective user.

The hospital, added Quackenbush, is a unique building, calling it a real asset for the city.

“We’ll give it a shot,” said Quackenbush, adding the hope is that someone will step up with a great idea that will be great for the city and will create jobs.

If that does not occur at least the city has done its due diligence, he said.

In other action during its meeting, the council:

• Declared a 1990 International tandem dump truck as surplus property.

• Approved the purchase of a 2020 Ford F-250 pickup truck from Weelborg Ford at a cost of $29,985. The truck will replace a 2002 Chevy pickup that has been declared surplus property.

• Approved the purchase of a used 2013 John Deere motor grader from $26,000 with the trade of a 2017 front end loader.

• Approved the purchase of a 2019 Kenworth plow truck from Crysteel truck equipment at a cost of $214,126.11. This was not the low bid, but for the city this truck was determined to be a better option as it can use existing snow equipment in the city’s fleet.

• Approved a work order for Bolton and Menk to plan for the construction of a watermain loop in old North Redwood.