Clinic for veterans possible
Clinton, which already has one of seven state-run veterans centers in Oklahoma, could become home to a new outpatient medical clinic for veterans following a preliminary step Thursday night by the City Council.
The council, acting as trus-tees of the Industrial Trust Authority, voted 4-0 to lease to Cognition, LLC, a strip of land purchased recently by the City across the street east of City Hall. The contract says Cognition owns “an adjacent tract which is to be leased to Community Based Outpatient Clinic for a Veterans Administration Medical Clinic.”
Nothing much was said at the council meeting about the medical clinic, but Google says the Veterans Health Administration provides care of varying complexity at 1,250 facilities, “including 1,069 outpatient sites.”
The council’s action Thursday was only to approve a 30-year lease of the land bought last month to Cognition, LLC, identified as a Florida-based limited liability company. The contract indicates that land is to be used as a parking lot for the clinic and will be leased for $120 a year.
Mayor David Berrong was reluctant to give any details about the clinic, if he knew them, other than to say it would be the only one between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas.
He did say, “The potential is enormous. It would bring lots of people to Clinton, and it would bring in lots of outside money, including federal dollars.”
The land being leased to Cognition is the south 50½ feet of Lots 10-12, which face U.S. Highway 183 and City Hall. It was bought last month from Denny Meacham for $26,000 cash plus credit for a $24,000 donation.
“It is agreed to and understood by both parties that Cognition intends to make improvements to the property adjacent to the south and utilize the same as an Outpatient Medical Clinic, which will provide additional employment opportunities and an increased economic impact for the City of Clinton,” the lease contract states.
It says that property is currently occupied by a structure which must be removed to create the parking spaces Cognition needs and the City will be responsible for the demolition as well as construction of the parking lot. Once the lot is completed, Cognition will assume responsibility for any repairs needed during the term of the lease.
The Google article said most Veterans Health Administration medical centers offer such services as dermatology, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology, and dental and vision care. It of course did not say what the one here would offer.
Councilman Jason Hulin moved to lease the land to Cognition, and Bobby Stewart seconded. Mayor Berrong and Ernie Dowdell voted with them to do so. Chuy Rosales was not present.
Prior to the vote, a clause was added at City Attorney Ryan Meacham’s suggestion saying the lessees must continue to use it for the purposes they’ve indicated they would or it would revert to the City’s control.