PINEDALE – Armed with two different sets of numbers and two different perspectives, board members wanting a new critical access hospital in the BloomField subdivision were not convinced by those supporting the existing Pinedale Medical Clinic property and Pinedale ball fields for the CAH.
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District board had a special meeting Aug. 29 to hear from member Wendy Boman and citizen Bill Johnson, whom they gave a month to make progress in reducing costs of buying and building on the county and town properties. Neither approached the county about reducing its asking price, which commissioners said recently they were unlikely to reduce.
Chair Scott Scherbel led the public and board – Boman, Laura Clark, John Godfrey and Chuck Bacheller – through several hours of discussion and debate with Clark and Godfrey calling in.
The county’s lowest price for the clinic property with the old office building (appraised at about $10 million) is $3.95 million. The board also learned that the existing clinic could become a CAH clinic with minimal remodeling. An explanation of the two sets of numbers is provided below.
Scherbel’s set of numbers from RHCD consultants does not include building an ambulance barn or main entry road at the undeveloped BloomField site, priced at $550,000. The board stated it would build an ambulance barn “later” from future revenues and use the existing ambulance barn and clinic “on the hill” during CAH construction at BloomField. Its estimate to build the main entrance of Garrison Drive is $750,000 – if it needs to be built at all, they added.
In Scherbel’s chart, the total cost to buy, build and equip a CAH at BloomField is $27,850,000.
Using the clinic with the old building and town ball field properties was an estimated $32,2308,735, his numbers show, and the chart still listed $679,000 for remodeling.
Boman, Johnson and Pinedale Mayor Matt Murdock presented another arrangement of the same numbers, also from consultants but in a different order to “make it apples to apples,” Murdock said. “The clinic has an ambulance barn; BloomField is going to need an ambulance barn.”
The ambulance barn at $1.4 million and engineers’ estimates of up to $2 million to build Garrison Drive to property are added into their BloomField site total. They reduced a clinic remodel to a high estimate of $300,000. It added in $360,000 for one year’s rent of the Pinedale and Marbleton-Big Piney clinics, assuming the county keeps its monthly rent at $12,000.
Using the existing clinic decreased the cost of construction from $17 million to $15.44 million, these numbers show.
They met with town, county and school officials to discuss moving and equipping Pinedale’s ball fields on school property near the Pinedale bus barn for an estimated $1.1 million. They described cooperative talks to possibly create a new sports complex. Boman called it a “win-win” for the community, adding commissioners hinted they might use the money for other county health-care needs.
With the entrance road and ambulance barn on the plus side, the total costs at BloomField came to $31,905,000.
Total costs of buying and building the CAH at the Pinedale Clinic and moving ball fields came to $30,929,735, their figures show.
Although Scherbel said CAH construction at the existing clinic and ball field was “essentially equal to” the empty site, Scherbel and others felt it didn’t offer enough savings or efficiencies.
The board voted, 4-1, to proceed with the USDA loan application to buy the BlooomField property for the CAH. Boman voted nay.
For more about the board’s discussions, see the Aug. 31 Pinedale Roundup.