The prospect of a new wellness and physical therapy center is groundbreaking news for the city of Indianola.
On Monday, the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors voted to convey land located on the corner of Baker and Moody Streets to the South Sunflower County Hospital Foundation for the purpose of erecting a $3.3 million wellness center.
According to Board Attorney Johnny McWilliams, the board order he drafted also says the county will “agree to join in it.”
He said, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Inc., has advised them that they would like to make a donation to the Sunflower County Hospital Foundation for the purposes of constructing a new wellness center on that site.”
Earlier, the county lawmakers voted to donate that property, which at the time contained the former Life Help structure, to the South Sunflower County Hospital with the understanding that the hospital would pay for the demolition of the building. “And the plan then, I think, was that they were going to use it for parking,” said McWilliams.
McWilliams said the hospital foundation is a non-profit corporation established exclusively to assist the hospital with health programs and health education. “In my opinion this is about as good a news as you can get,” said McWilliams. He said he didn’t have any hesitation in saying that he would recommend that the county lawmakers join in with the conveyance.
McWilliams said the county has to agree to the transference and explained that although the hospital can legally own the land, they can’t legally sell it or transfer it. “The hospital can’t convey any property to anybody without you alls’ authority, because you own the hospital,” he said.
Although he referenced the wellness center at North Sunflower Medical Center, McWilliams said he hasn’t seen any plans, so he could not offer any other concrete information on the project.
Back in June, Hospital Administrator Courtney Phillips along with Attorney Richard Noble met with the Indianola City Aldermen to get their approval to rezone that property from R-1B, which is single-family residential, to C-1, which is neighborhood commercial.
The site is the former location of the old Life Help facility that was previously torn down and erected anew just off U.S. 49 South behind the county jail and apparently the zoning status reverted to residential when the old structure was removed.
Noble also indicated at the time that Blue Cross Blue Shield would be providing the funding for the new project.