The city will commit $2 million to support the construction of a new ER facility and Medical Services Building in Auburn Research Park.
The Auburn City Council approved the investment at its meeting on Tuesday. The $2 million will be allotted over 10 years, with the city contributing $200,000 a year.
The money will go toward the extension of Camp Auburn Road in Auburn Research Park to Shug Jordan Parkway. The medical facility will be located off Camp Auburn Road.
Before agreeing to pay $200,000 annually, city staff evaluated the financial impact of the investment.
"We worked out the potential income from occupational license fees, the $50,000 per year in lieu of taxes that East Alabama Medical Center would have to pay us, and that equates to a little over $200,000 per year," City Manager Jim Buston said. "So, in order to bring such an important medical facility to the citizens of Auburn, we recommended that this expenditure of $200,000 be approved by the council."
The Medical Services Building will be 70 to 80,000 square feet and will include a freestanding ER, ambulatory surgery center, orthopedics, endoscopy, ENT services, ophthalmology, radiology and a pharmacy, according to council meeting materials.
Auburn University will invest about $11 million in infrastructure for the project, and the East Alabama Healthcare Authority will invest about $33.7 million.
The facility will provide jobs for 102 health care professionals with an anticipated payroll of close to $8 million, according to a memo written to the council by City Manager James Buston.
"Not only will this project provide enhanced access to medical care for Auburn's citizens, it is one more step in helping Auburn University and Auburn Research and Technology Foundation achieve their vision of creating a health sciences cluster in Auburn," Buson wrote.
The city's $200,000 annual contribution will begin in FY19 and was included in the amended biennial budget, which the City Council also approved at its meeting on Tuesday.
The council will meet again on Aug. 20. Its members agreed to convene early, likely at 6:30 p.m., to discuss options for how the city can assist in saving the Cullars home, a historic home on the corner of Samford Avenue and College Street in danger of being torn down.