UNC Health Rex Holly Springs Hospital is scheduled to open this September, capping efforts by Town officials spanning more than 15 years to bring hospital care to the community.
At its Jan. 5 meeting, the Town Council received an update on hospital construction, which is under way at the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and N.C. 55. Work on the seven-story, $170 million hospital began nearly two years ago.
Services in the 50-bed hospital will include a 24-hour emergency department, labor and delivery, intermediate beds, three operating rooms, radiology, laboratory and pharmacy.
The hospital will employ approximately 350 people, providing opportunities for job-seekers as well as some existing hospital employees seeking to transfer to Holly Springs.
Also at the Jan. 5 Council meeting, the Town’s external auditor presented the financial audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020.
The auditor found that the Town retains strong financial reserves and solid cash balances that are well above state-recommended minimums as a percentage of the budget.
Total assessed value now exceeds $5 billion. Town debt as a percentage of that tax valuation is well below the limit under state law.
The Council also heard a presentation on the recently-begun update of the Town’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The process includes numerous opportunities for public input, including an online survey and virtual public workshops that will be held Jan. 20 and 21.
In other matters, the Council received an update on the draft countywide comprehensive plan, which Wake commissioners are expected to approve next month.
Wake County’s population is projected to increase by 250,000 over the next decade. Council members noted the increase in solid waste volumes that would create and the heightened necessity of addressing odor problems at the South Wake Landfill.
County plan goals include protecting natural areas while directing growth to municipalities. The plan calls for smaller, more focused requests when municipalities seek planning authority beyond town limits. This authority is called extra-territorial jurisdiction, or ETJ.
Also Jan. 5, the Council honored Gina Clapp, who retires this week after serving for 20 years as Holly Springs’ director of Planning and Zoning. Her staff began the Holly Springs Farmers Market in 2007 and managed it for more than a decade. In 2020, she coordinated the Town’s 2020 Census efforts, which resulted in Holly Springs’ having the highest response rate of any town in the county at 85.1 percent.