Michael Calhoun

O’FALLON, Ill. (KMOX) – St. Elizabeth’s Hospital plans to close Tuesday on property for a new medical center after City Council members voted Monday night to approve a tax increment financing district.

The site is at Green Mount Road and I-64.

City Administrator Walter Denton said the city is basically paying to fill in mines buried underneath the site.

“We felt that it was a good investment to put public money into remediating the mines for a $300 million construction project that would bring thousands of jobs,” he said, adding that St. Elizabeth’s refused to consider the property if O’Fallon didn’t take care of the mine issue.

Retail developers, he said, had previously considered the site but backed off for similar reasons.

The T.I.F. totals $22.5 million for a 106-acre area.

Central School District members, worried about losing tax revenue, decided Monday afternoon to officially oppose the arrangement and consider a lawsuit against the city.

Denton doesn’t believe any legal action would be successful.

“The hospital told us they would not locate here unless the T.I.F. was approved, so there would not be any money going to the school districts otherwise,” he said. “We believe we have a good case and we believe this a great and exciting project for O’Fallon.”

(KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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