Local Business Leaders Support Crystal Lake Hospital Plan

Mar 04, 2011, 09:03 ET from Mercy Health System

Two groups unanimously back $200 million proposal, job creation

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill., March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mercy Health System recently received the backing of two influential business groups that support the building of a new state-of-the-art hospital in Crystal Lake that will create jobs and spur economic growth.

The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce voted to approve a resolution backing the new $200 million, 128-bed acute-care facility at Route 31 and Three Oaks Road. The Crystal Lake Economic Development Committee also approved a similar resolution supporting Mercy's efforts.

"We've listened to the needs of the entire community – including those of local and small business leaders – and put forth a proposal that not only delivers quality healthcare, but will create jobs and encourage economic development starting this year," said Richard Gruber, Vice President at Mercy Health System. "With the state's unemployment rate over 9 percent – including 8.4 percent here in McHenry County – the sobering fact is that Illinois needs more jobs, and we need them now."

Chairman of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Brian Coli and the Board of Directors sent a letter of support this week to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board supporting the Crystal Lake proposal.

Gruber added the plan would create approximately 800 construction-related jobs beginning this year. Once the facility opens, it would employ up to 850 full-time hospital jobs and approximately 200 part-time positions.

Given that these difficult economic times caused by the recession have led to many local businesses closing their doors, Gruber believes the new Crystal Lake hospital would provide a boost to the local economy. Mercy officials project that a Crystal Lake hospital would generate industry sales of $103 million in its first year and up to more than $257 million annually after five years.

"Every new job created has a ripple effect in the Crystal Lake and McHenry County and on the region's overall financial health," Gruber said. "Job creation leads to new workers earning wages, spending money, purchasing homes, and raising families – all of which strengthen communities."

Gruber noted that Mercy shares the chamber's mission and belief "that a positive business climate is an integral part of a healthy community." For more than 70 years, the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to promoting local businesses and helping make the community one of McHenry County's premier places to work, live and play. Its Board has 21 members: 15 regular Directors and six at-large Directors.

Crystal Lake's Economic Development Committee, comprised of nine volunteer members who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council, recommends ways to expand and retain local businesses and to promote development opportunities. 

"Mercy is honored to have the support of these two respected organizations and we're committed to working with them to encourage job creation, business growth and economic opportunities for the entire community," Gruber said.

In the last few weeks, the Crystal Lake hospital proposal received the endorsement of the Crystal Lake City Council, the Village of Cary and the McHenry County Board.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the proposal is invited to attend public hearing that will take place at 10 a.m., March 18, at Crystal Lake City Hall, 100 W Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.

The public is also invited to submit written comments in support of the proposal to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board by 9 a.m. on April 20. The Board is expected to make a determination on the proposal in May.

For more information about the Mercy plan, visit www.MercyCrystalLake.org.

CONTACT: Rich Gruber, Vice President/Mercy Health System, (815) 676-6550, rgruber@mhsjvl.org

SOURCE Mercy Health System



RELATED LINKS

http://www.MercyCrystalLake.org