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St. Helens acquires health district property

The St. Helens City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday, Oct. 7, to accept ownership rights of an 8.9-acre piece of property from the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.

The county commissioners, acting as trustees for the dissolved Columbia Health District, voted two and a half weeks ago to provide St. Helens a quitclaim deed to transfer ownership of the property. The property on Millard Road was intended to be a hospital site, but remains vacant.

The Columbia Health District was created in 2003 to collect tax revenue to pay for a hospital in Columbia County. However, the district was dissolved in 2011 after the project failed to meet state requirements for a certificate of need.

According to John Walsh, the St. Helens city administrator, the city does not have specific plans for the property at this time. Mayor Randy Peterson said the city does not intend to sell the property either.