Posted at: 09/04/2012 10:52 PM
Updated at: 09/04/2012 10:57 PM
By: Steph Crock
Hospital Expansion Plans Have Residents Fired Up
(ABC 6 News) -- Mercy Medical Center in Mason City is running into some opposition as it looks to expand.
"This was a big shock for everybody," said neighboring resident Constance Momeni. She says she had no idea her beautiful green backyard view, might be replaced with more traffic and tall buildings. "For me that would really be difficult if this went through, because the home values would drop and I would take a loss," said Momeni.
The concern comes with the expansion of Mercy Medical Center. Nobody from the hospital would go on camera, but we were give a statement saying. "Mercy's overall concern is patient care. This project supports that goal with the building of a new energy center, improved loading dock and warehouse space."
That's what would go right behind Momeni's home. Not only that, but dozens of trees along this stretch will be cut down and 10 homes would be demolished, homes that have been here for almost a century. "It was originally plotted back in 1916 and Mercy was here first, but there's been this harmony between Mercy Hospital and the neighborhood between that period of time,” said Eric Neitzke, another area resident.
In its statement, Mercy said it understands the concern, “We know this is difficult for our neighbors and we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on the neighborhood."
"You know you have to cope with change, we’re just hoping we can lessen the impact in the area through an active dialogued with Mercy," said Neitzke. That's what some residents are doing, with roughly 160 petitions against this project.
"Everyone says this is one of the prettiest areas in Mason City and they don't want to see it destroyed," said Momeni.
Mercy says it's already had two public forums, and the issue was discussed at Tuesday night's city council meeting. The plan has yet to be given the final go-ahead.