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Perham land deal helps pave way for new hospital

A three-way land deal that would provide a location for a new, $30 million-plus hospital was approved Oct. 13 by the Perham City Council.

The sale actually involved several tracts of land on the southwest side of Perham.

The city acquired 110 acres of land on the north side of the highway owned by the Offutt Company. In turn, Offut acquired 230 acres of city owned land on the south side of Highway 10--and paid an additional $300,000.

Perham Memorial Hospital and Home will then purchase 60 of the acres from the city, which will be the site of the proposed hospital and medical center.

Acquiring land in northwest Perham, not far from the existing hospital, was viewed as a key to the development of the medical center.

PMHH will purchase the 60 acres from the city for $5,500 per acre.

May 1, 2009, has been set as the target date to complete the transaction.

The city's intent will be to annex the land, which is in Perham Township, prior to the final sale to the hospital, explained Kelcey Klemm, Perham city manager.

The council approved the agreement unanimously.

The location of the land was critical for another reason. Hospital supporters are in the process of convincing the Minnesota Department of Transportation and legislators that a new on and off ramp configuration will be needed at Highway 10 and the 34 overpass, in order to establish improved access the hospital and the city.