Monee: Loss of Health Clinic Is a Gain As New Village Hall

The Village of Monee has purchased the former Riverside Health Care facility to use as a new village hall. (Photo by Karen Haave)
The Village of Monee has purchased the former Riverside Health Care facility to use as a new village hall. (Photo by Karen Haave)

By Karen Haave

A one-time urgent care center at 25711 S. Egyptian Trail is set to become Monee’s new village hall.

Riverside Health Care closed the facility permanently on August 31; no reason was given for the closure.

The 11-year-old brick building went from medical to municipal after officials realized it could be acquired for a modest $1 million.

Village Administrator Ruben Bautista said some renovation will be needed to turn it into offices. The budget for that is unknown at this time, but “coordination with an architect will give us an estimated cost.

“Without a doubt, it is significantly less expensive than building a new village hall. After conferring with engineers and developers, we learned it would cost the village about five to six times the amount to purchase land and build an approximate-sized facility.

“This was a timely win.”

Bautista said all village hall employees will move to new location, including those in the front office, the Finance Department, Human Resource Department, Administrative Personnel, Building Services and Economic Development.

The Parks & Recreation Department will then move into the current village hall on Court Street.

“(That) will help them establish a true parks central hub at Firemen’s Park,” he noted.

The Current Board Room will continue to host the village board meetings, however.

Bautista said the existing village hall “was built in 1984 and has served the Village well. It originally housed the Village Administration, Police Department, Building Services and the Village Board Room.

“As the Village has grown in geography, population, businesses, industry and home construction; so, have the services the village provides.

“We have added extra departments to help meet the demands of a growing municipality. This has included extra employees causing a domino effect on office space, resources, and equipment.

“The mayor and trustees are excited about our progress and the direction we have taken. This move is just a small part of the progress we are making, and the upcoming year promises even more growth and progress.”

Renovations are underway and an early 2024 move-in is anticipated.

While the closure of the Riverside building turned out to be a plus for Monee village staff, it did leave the village without a health care center.

“Our Economic Development Director (Bill Barnes) has met with or spoken to a few medical providers to replace the ‘medical vacuum’ after Riverside’s departure,” Bautista noted.

“There are some plans in the works, but it would be premature to disclose those plans at this time.”

The Monee Police Department also appears to be in line for some new space.

“(That expansion) is still being planned and waiting in queue for construction. First, we are in the process of engineering a new public works facility,” Bautista explained.

“The village has been setting funds aside for Public Works construction during the past five years. Once completed, it will be paid in full – no loans, bonds, or tax increases, (to avoid a) burden on our tax paying residents.

“In the meantime, we will continue to set funds aside for the Police Department’s construction project. The board has been setting funds aside each year since Mayor Bogs has taken office.

“The goal is to build the Police Department without leaving any debt for the residents. So, at this point, I am not sure when the Police Department construction will commence. We will continue to confer with engineers, architects, and developers and research all options necessary to place ourselves in a ‘shovel ready’ posture.”

Karen Haave is a freelance reporter.

 

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