The Metro Public Health Department will have to look beyond Hickory Hollow Mall if it wants to build a new women and children’s clinic in the Antioch area.
An ordinance that would have launched such a facility inside the struggling mall has been deferred indefinitely on third reading by the Metro Council at the request of District 32 Councilman Sam Coleman, who represents residents near the mall.
The decision to move for deferral came the day after a spirited community meeting where, according to Coleman, more than 150 residents attended, with the majority expressing disapproval of using the mall to house the clinic.
The health department’s Women, Infants and Children program –– more commonly known by its acronym WIC –– provides nutrition education to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children 5 and younger at its three Davidson County facilities.
The department’s hope was to add a fourth WIC clinic at the Hickory Hollow Mall, but the majority of neighbors objected to the proposal, maintaining it would have an adverse effect on the mall’s business and surrounding property values.
“My neighbors want me to make it very, very clear they are not against the WIC program in Antioch,” Coleman said. “It’s just that the WIC program in the mall is not a good fit at this time.”
If Metro can’t locate another site in his district, Coleman said the health department is willing to work with Council members who represent other Antioch area districts ––Robert Duvall, Vivian Wilhoite and Duane Dominy –– to find a destination for the proposed clinic.