Grant could aid hospital building

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The City of New Prague and Queen of Peace Hospital are working together on a possible grant that could help the hospital if it decides to build a new campus in New Prague.

Over the last year, city staff and Queen of Peace representatives have been working on the potential relocation and development of the hospital to the northeast area of Highway 19 and Alton Avenue on the city's east side.

New Prague City Planner Renee Christianson explained to the New Prague City Council at its Monday, Nov. 2, meeting that city staff had a lead on a grant that would help offset some of the infrastructure costs. The federal economic development grant is tied to job growth and retention in economically distressed areas of the country.

City staff and hospital representatives met with staff from the Region 9 Development Commission, a regional planning and development agency serving South Central Minnesota, to discuss the project and see if it meets the intent of the grant. Region 9 spoke with their federal representatives who felt it was worthwhile to pursue the grant.

Region 9 offered to write the grant application with the assistance of city and hospital representatives. The group would be seeking $1 million or more in grant money to help with the project.

Christianson said Region 9 would charge a fee for their services. The Planning Department has no further funds in its professional services budget and requested a transfer of $1,600 to pay the fee. The council unanimously approved the transfer.

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