Fort Payne one step closer to demolishing old hospital

What can people in Fort Payne look forward to seeing in it's place? The mayor tells me there's not a definite plan just yet.

Posted: Jul 9, 2021 6:14 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2021 7:11 PM

Fort Payne is one step closer to tearing down an old hospital which has sat vacant for years.

The City now owns the property at the corner of Forest Avenue and 13th Street. And with money they got from a grant, the mayor says they can finally start to demo the former DeKalb General Hospital.

"Everybody here is ready to see it go. It's time for something new. Obviously it has history, but I think it's done it's part. It's time for something better, something that we can put to use because that's a huge spot of land just kinda going to waste," said Joycelyn Evans, who works at The Gathering Place across the street from the hospital. 

"It's obviously an eyesore. I just think that we could benefit from having something a little bit prettier to look at during the day and on the way to work," said Evans. 

"A lot of homeless have went in and stayed and there's been some, we expect some drug activity that's went on there," said Fort Payne Mayor Brian Baine. 

This week, the city bought this property at auction. 

Earlier this year, the city was able to secure money from a grant so they can now tear it down and build something for people to enjoy. 

"Now that we own it, we are able to let that thing out for bid to demolition companies. They'll come in and tear that thing down," said Baine.

What can people in Fort Payne look forward to seeing in it's place? 

The mayor tells me there's not a definite plan just yet. 

"I think we can have a green space. That's been some of the things that's been brought up, a dog walking park....It has been talked about doing some senior housing, there. It's been talked about doing like a youth center, like a YMCA of some sort," said Baine. 

"I think our community could really benefit from a dog park. That's not something we've ever had offered here," said Evans.

The mayor said he wants to hear from people in the community to get their ideas for this land. He also said there isn't a specific time line for when the building will come down, but he is hoping this area will see major changes before the end of this year.

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