JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — Full funding for the Junction City Hospital has residents hopeful the economy will finally move forward. While the project is still under construction, residents say the news has them excited for what’s to come.
Residents say that Junction City has been through a lot since the fall of Country Coach in 2009; they’re hoping that this new hospital could mean that things could be turning around for the better in just a few years.
“Back a few years ago the RV industry, with the recession, kind of failed. Country Coach went through bankruptcy, so it was quite devastating for the community. There were a lot of jobs that were lost,” said Rick Kissock, Tri-County Chamber of Commerce Member.
6th Street Wine & Deli owner Donna Vankilsdonk was one of those who felt that blow the most.
“I used to actually work at Country Coach, so I know all about that. That’s actually how I ended up with this business,” Vankilsdonk said.
Vankilsdonk thinks the hospital is just what the town and her business need.
“That is going to be something that will be permanent, which you know myself as a business owner I need more than just my regulars. I need people that will come through all the time. My regulars are what keep me going, but we need others,” Vankilsdonk said.
City officials agree that the project could do wonders for the small town.
“I think the initial startup is going to be the out of town people coming in and spending their money here in Junction City, Harrisburg and Monroe,” Kissock said.
With the hospital’s history, the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce says everyone it’s spoken to is cautiously optimistic, but optimistic nonetheless.
“We’re hoping to see a lot more traffic downtown because of that. I think it is going to have a very positive impact on Junction City in particular, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Kissock said.
While construction isn’t expected to be completed until April 2015, the hospital’s already working to put together a job fair that they hope to hold in August.