Let’s take a trip back in time. It’s June 2014 and the City of Iowa Falls owns Ellsworth Municipal Hospital. Hansen Family Hospital opened two months ago, and now the pressure’s on to figure out whether the old facility can be repurposed. A developer has stepped forward, willing to convert a portion of the old hospital into apartments or condominiums, but only if the city maintains ownership of the basement and the former clinic building. There’s a plan to make it work, but it’ll cost. Every utility bill in town will see an $8 per month surcharge that will last forever, and likely increase through the years, to pay for utilities and upkeep at the building. Would you support it?

That was an actual proposal put before the Iowa Falls City Council five years ago. The previous year had been spent spreading news about the hospital, and taking prospective developers on tours of the building. The scenario above was one of only two remaining options in the summer of 2014. The other was to demolish the building and put the vacant lot up for sale. After the developer above backed out, the city started moving toward demolition, and planned to take bids on the work in early 2015.

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