Crawford Memorial Hospital is willing to contribute $150,000 toward a new community fitness center.
The CMH Board Wednesday approved giving $50,000 per year for three years to the proposed facility.
"This sends a great message to the community," Chief Executive Officer Doug Florkowski said. "It's important to get behind this. This will make Robinson a destination place and have an impact such as New Leaf [Fitness and Spa] has had on Lawrence County."
A state-of-the-art countywide recreation and fitness center at Lincoln Trail College was first proposed last year. The idea is that the center could provide facilities such as indoor walking and jogging tracks, indoor sports courts, free weights, circuit fitness and space for instruction in yoga, Zumba and more.
It also would help meet the local needs cited in the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment. It showed Crawford County is above the norm for diabetes, heart disease and other ailments that can be prevented through proper fitness, board member Mitzi Martin said.
"We can't send a stronger message or do anything better for the community than this," board member Dr. Greg Kastner added.
In May, the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Board came out in support for building the center.
"This is an exciting step forward for LTC and Crawford County," LTC President Ryan Gower said at the time.
He explained construction and operation of the facility would be privately funded by donations from businesses and individuals. A contract setting forth "obligations of operations" would be adopted prior to beginning construction.
LTC and the United Way of Crawford County, with the support of Marathon, continue to work on the project, Florkowski said Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the board adopted the hospital district's annual tax levy. The levy, based on CMH's liability insurance needs, is $433,926, interim Chief Financial Officer Cindy Bock said.
Bock also reported CMH had a strong bottom line in October. Outpatient volumes were up and year-to-date net revenues are almost $955,000.
In other business, the board learned the radiology department recently passed inspection and the parking lot addition at the Oblong Rural Health Clinic is finished except for the installation of a light.
Members were introduced to new nurse practitioner Jenna Kintner of Newton and the hospital's new materials manager Mark McKinnon.
Various policies and procedures were approved by the board.
The next CMH Board meeting is 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19.