Archived Story

County approves VA clinic incentive

Published 10:15am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday approved a $50,000 business subsidy as an incentive to attract a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic to the county.

That brings the total incentive to $100,000, with the Albert Lea City Council’s approval of $50,000 last week.

“I believe personally Albert Lea is the perfect place,” said 5th District Commissioner Mike Lee, who motioned for the incentive.

The VA has announced a clinic for the south-central part of the state, but the question remains as to where the clinic will go: Freeborn, Mower, Waseca or Faribault County.

The clinic would serve not only Minnesota veterans but could serve Iowa veterans as well. It would provide outpatient primary care for veterans along the southern border of Minnesota in a private hospital, office or clinic environment.

The project would be contracted out to a private organization, and the contractor would be required to have the necessary facilities, professional medical staff, diagnostic testing and treatment capability. Staff would have to be trained and certified through the VA, and any psychologists will only be staffed by the VA.

At least 10 new jobs are expected to be created at the start, with possibly more in the future.

Commissioner Dan Belshan said this puts the amount the county is spending on economic development to $300,000.

The county has committed the remainder of that money to help with street lights near a new Kwik Trip gas station on Bridge Avenue. That project came in under budget.