DANVILLE – As the Danville City Council Tuesday night heard additional information and saw new renderings of the proposed $70 million proposed Carle at The Riverfront medical campus on the city’s west side, some aldermen and OSF officials continue to debate the need for the closure of Logan Avenue for the project.
Ward 2 Alderman Dan Duncheon asked why can’t the proposed development “move over just a hair,” where part of the future development is not located on Logan Avenue. The latest Carle rendering shows mostly parking and landscaping along Logan Avenue.
He said Carle will be taking the view away from residents who drive along there and he sees no real impact to slightly move the development.
“Is that a deal breaker?” Duncheon asked, adding that closing Logan Avenue is a deal breaker for the people living in his ward.
Ward 6 Alderman Aaron Troglia also asked why the development can’t go more north of Madison Street.
Carle officials said the city, prior to Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. taking office, and Vermilion Advantage presented these 17 acres.
Carle Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Dennis said utilities also need to be taken into account and while Carle is committed to the city, if they can’t vacate Logan Avenue the medical campus won’t locate there.
Dennis said without closing Logan Avenue just north of North Street to just south of Leon’s Diner, “(the medical campus) won’t meet the needs of patients we serve” or their future plans.
“Sometimes it’s hard to adapt to change,” said Ward 1 Alderwoman Brenda Brown about the roadway closure, but added if the development is for the betterment of the city, she supports it.
Brown said she’d also like to see OSF and Carle work together.
OSF officials say the closure of Logan Avenue would significantly impact access to OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center and create a critical delay for patients seeking care, particularly emergency services. The additional time could be the difference between life and death for some patients.
Dr. Jared Rogers, president of OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center, states “The concern we have about closing Logan Avenue is that it really changes the access to our hospital. Our hospital is the only one within 25 miles that has full time emergency department access, so it’s an important distinction. So that critical point of closing off Logan Avenue and creating a delay in emergency traffic coming to our emergency department is the sticking point. That, in a majority of cases, won’t matter. But in some cases it will, and in some cases it will be life threatening and life ending.”
“We’re certainly not against Carle building something in Danville, investing in the community like OSF has invested in the community. That is certainly something that the community of Danville needs and Vermilion County needs. And so no, we’re certainly not against that,” he said.
Rogers told the city council that increased traffic on Gilbert Street also could cause delays. He said their internal investigation has shown at least a 40-second delay with the Logan closure.
In other business, Tuesday, the council amended the Danville Zoning Ordinance to include definitions and district-use regulations relating to a medicinal and adult-use cannabis business; and also approved a special-use permit for a cannabis dispensary in the former Big Boy restaurant, keeping Jackson and Voorhees a four-way stop and realigning West Williams Street behind the Mach 1 gas station on Gilbert Street.