Editorial: Inhospitable? Rejection of Hospice proposal could cost Danville jobs

January 11, 2004

We hope the triumvirate of city commissioners - Mayor John W.D. Bowling and commissioners Ryan Owens and Chester Kavanaugh - that runs Danville is prepared to replace the 24 jobs it may have run out of town last week when it turned down a rezoning request from Heritage Hospice to construct a new building on the bypass.

Hospice is exactly the kind of organization the city should be trying to keep in town. It was founded here 25 years ago and provides invaluable end-of-life care to residents of Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties.

From a zoning standpoint, the organization is exactly the kind of neighbor you want to have: quiet, stable, professional, responsible members of the community.

The organization has outgrown its building on Broadway and needs room to expand. It would prefer to stay in Danville because of its central location in the area it serves. But it could find a new home in one of the other counties and that would mean another blow to the tax base of both Danville and Boyle County.


We admit that sewerage is an issue. Hospice's proposed site on the south side of U.S. 150 is not on a city sewer line, but the organization's representatives presented information at a hearing before the City Commission last month showing that was not really a problem in this case. There are other options, such as a holding tank or septic system that could handle sewage from the building - whether or not city sewers are ever extended to the area.

Which brings up a puzzling question about Bowling's vote against the rezoning. It wasn't too long ago that the mayor made a strong case for the need for extending city sewers along the south side of the bypass and to Junction City. What's the point of doing so if not to serve just such organizations as Hospice that wish to locate in that area of the bypass?

It's too bad the mayor didn't step over to the other side of the aisle on this issue and vote with commissioners Jamey Gay and Terry Crowley, both of whom favored the Hospice proposal. It would seem to strengthen his case for a sewer line to have some potential paying customers already in place.

The dithering of the ruling triumvirate is beginning to do active damage to our community. Basically, nothing is being done. No growth on the bypass. No growth downtown. Just gridlock.

Is the triumvirate for a parking garage or not? Are they for growth on the bypass or not? Are they for extending the city sewer system or not?

Who knows?

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