Weatherford Democrat

August 2, 2010

Health care expands

Elizabeth Sehon



A new health care facility is in the works for Parker County.

Texas Health Resources bought land with plans to build a hospital facility in Willow Park, although no timeline has been set, Wendell Watson, director of public relations to THR said.

The land was bought by THR because the company is trying to stay ahead of a growing population curve and serve those communities with health care, he said. 

“We will go and build a facility where population is growing rapidly,” Waston said.

Willow Park Mayor Ken Hawkins said the timeline is undecided because THR is currently tied up with health care issues in Washington.

“My impression of dealing with the team at THR is that they are somewhat concerned with the ramifications of the Obama health plan, because of course, it has a direct impact on their business model,” Hawkins said. “They’re either going to wait to see how that plays out in the political discussions in Washington before they begin their master plan, or my impression is the next major project they develop will likely be in Willow Park.” 

Although plans have not been set on construction, a contract has been signed and THR bought the land directly from Mit-Mar Land, L.P. July 1, Watson said.

According to the Parker County appraisal district, the land has been appraised for $522,920, but neither party would disclose the actual amount for which it was sold.

“A contract has been completed, funds have been deposited and are in escrow, and we have a signed agreement for their acquisition of the land,” Hawkins said.

Jim Martin, who sold the land, said THR purchased nearly 30 acres in the Crown Pointe subdivision.

Martin said he does not have any knowledge of a timeline or construction date for the facility.

“I don’t know anything other than they bought the property and we’re putting in roads and infrastructure,” he said.

Hawkins said another reason the timeline may be undecided is because THR will not build the hospital until the Texas Department of Transportation completes ramp improvements off north I-20, near the proposed hospital’s location.

Candy Scott, city administrator to Willow Park, said the hospital should be located about a mile west of exit 418.

Exits at Ranch House Road and FM 5/Mikus Road will both be moved up east, she said.

In July 2011, the ramps should be completed and soon after that date THR will begin implementing plans for its hospital, Hawkins said, and an emergency facility may be built before the ramps are completed to “establish a foothold in this county for providing health care.”

“It’s a corporate decision and [THR] is mulling over the implications of the Obama care,” Hawkins said. “I think the long term plan is that they’ll have a hospital out here, but whether or not they’ll admit to you they’ll start in six months or two years, I’d imagine as a corporate policy they wouldn’t divulge that information.”