Albert Lea City Council approves requesting Mayo delay transition

Published 9:29 pm Monday, July 24, 2017

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday unanimously approved requesting Mayo Clinic Health System delay its planned transition of most inpatient services from Albert Lea to Austin.

The measure passed on a 3-0 vote. Councilors Robert Rasmussen, Reid Olson and Larry Baker voted yes. Rich Murray and Al “Minnow” Brooks were absent, and Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr. and Albert Lea 3rd Ward councilor Jason Howland have recused themselves from Mayo-related agenda items, due to their employment with the hospital system.

The resolution states the city is requesting Mayo Clinic Health System officials delay the implementation of the transition until at least Jan. 1, 2018, and meet regularly with a delegation of community representatives “to review and consider options to maintain hospital services at present levels in Albert Lea, and/or determine details on the economic and community impact the planned transition of services will have on Albert Lea and the broader community served by Mayo Clinic Health System.”

City leaders are concerned about the possible impact the transition will have on the quality of life and economy of individuals, families and businesses in Albert Lea, the resolution states.

The city is requesting to know more information about the effect the transition will have on emergency and ambulance response services, because of the expected increase in patients who will be transported from Albert Lea to Austin.

Mayo Clinic Health System has not provided sufficient or timely details on the transition, and Albert Lea residents and businesses deserve to understand and prepare for economic consequences the plan will have, the resolution states.

In a public forum prior to the vote, local resident Georgiann Quinn said the hospital has played a role in the lives of her family and friends.

“I see Albert Lea basically going down a cesspool, if we lose it,” she said. “I really would like to see this extension made so we can work on this.”

This is the first time the citizens of Albert Lea have came together in this manner, she said.

“We need inpatient care,” Quinn said.

In other action, the council:

  • Permitted an agreement for a $155,000 loan from the city’s economic development revolving loan fund to Prairie Resources LLC. to assist in the purchasing of a new boiler at 1215 Hershey St. The facility is leased by Zumbro River Brand, a contract manufacturer of food ingredients and finished products.

 

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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