New medical clinic looking to locate in Caraway
It was with mixed emotions the Caraway City Council voted (5-1) to sell the newly acquired Masonic Lodge property to a medical group. Owners of Access Medical Clinic are looking to build a clinic in Caraway.
The special called meeting on Thursday, Nov. 30, had only the one item on the agenda. Mayor Barry Riley opened the meeting and Councilman Mitchell Tipton went on to kick off the discussion on the sale of the Masonic Lodge property.
Tipton has been meeting with owners of the medical group. He said they have clinics throughout the area.
They had decided on property but it was red flagged and the final purchase did not go through, he said. I have shown them everything available on main street but they want to be on the highway. They are interested in purchasing the Masonic Lodge property to build a clinic.
Tipton went on to say he has also been talking to a pharmacy about joining with the clinic. He said Access is willing to make room for a pharmacy to lease if there is an interest. He said a pharmacy could be in the future.
The city council discussed the demolition of the building to make way for a new clinic.
The Masonic Lodge was recently deeded to the city by the Monette Masonic Lodge.
Do you think Monette Lodge gave us the building to tear down, Councilman John Boatman asked.
Boatman asked if the company would be interested in the old nursing home property.
It is not ours to sell, Tipton said. We can not be responsible for tearing it down.
The council then discussed the state of the Masonic Lodge building which all agreed, it is not in good shape with ceiling coming down, stairs not safe, etc.
I love the building, Councilman Roger Williams said. I wish it could be repaired but the citizens of Caraway needs a clinic.
He said it is difficult for some of the older citizens to get to Jonesboro or another town to see a doctor.
I know it is a historical building but we have to think of what will benefit the city and the citizens of Caraway, Williams said. We have to look beyond our feelings and decide what is good for Caraway.
Councilman Bo James said he talked to some Lodge members and they understood if the city could get a clinic it would be beneficial to the community.
Tipton said the company would like to start on the building by January 1 and it could be open as soon as eight to 10 weeks.
James said he had talked to a company about tearing down the building in preparation to share the information with the council.
He said the company is licensed and bonded and can be ready to go to work in a couple of weeks. He presented an an estimate of $9,725 for the demolition and clean up.
If we get $10,000 from the property, it will cover the cost of taking it down, he said. We are not trying to make money. We are trying to make the community better for the citizens.
The council voted to sell the property and hire Huffman to tear the building down and haul the material off with John Boatman casting the only no vote.