A new tenant moving into the vacant clinic building on Main Street in Winnebago has a rent-free agreement.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Optimal Performance Specialists (OPS) Clinics and the city entered into a one-year lease beginning Nov. 1.
Under the agreement, OPS will only pay for utility and other operational costs that does not include property taxes.
“They also are responsible to pay for telephone, Internet or snow removal,” says City Administrator Judi Hynes. “The lease states they’ll pay for grass mowing, but there is no grass to mow.”
Councilmember Jean Anderson spoke in favor of the lease, because other cities also offer various incentives.
“This is a good deal, to get them established in the community,” she says. “We want to make sure we are not hindering them right off the bat. We don’t want to set them up for failure right away.”
The city’s Healthcare Professional Services Task Force began searching for a medical provider when United Hospital District UHD) decided not to reopen the clinic after closing it in March 2020.
Last month, the council voted to purchase the building from UHD for $1.
OPS Clinics has locations in Blue Earth and Mapleton, offering a variety of medical and laboratory services and chiropractic care.
Mayor Scott Robertson is a member of the healthcare task force and says the group’s work is not over.
“I think there is more to come. We should look at this (OPS Clinics) as a professional building,” says Robertson.
In the past, the task force has expressed the need for recruiting a dentist and pharmacist.