A major hospital renovation project in Trinidad can now move forward as the County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a transfer of county property to Mt. San Rafael Hospital at its Tuesday, November 19 regular meeting. The property transfer will enable the hospital to move forward with financing the estimated $24 million hospital renovation project, with an estimated completion time of 36 months.
The county will retain the Health Department building and its parking lot next to the hospital property as part of the agreement, according to County Attorney Pamela Nelson, who explained the property transfer to the Board. She said it was the basic version of the agreement explaining how the property would be transferred. Dates and financial figures were left blank and would be filled in later after the bank got approval from the financial administrator to move forward. “So you’re basically being asked to approve it as written, with the addition of the dates and financial figures later.”
Once the dates and financial figures were agreed upon, the Board would have to vote on the approval of a final agreement. The hospital’s Chief Financial Officer, David Rollins, talked about the hospital’s proposed planned medical community and its possible benefits to the greater Trinidad community. “What the planned community will allow us to do is to divide up what the roles and the responsibilities are of the planned community,” Rollins said. “The hospital will have to retain ownership of the parking lots, so when we do the parking lot we can do the whole thing. For the planned community, we get full access to all the parking. We already have agreements that we’re sharing the parking lots now.
“If we go to try to cut it up, we’re going to run into issues about the number of parking spaces per building. If we’re sharing them, we don’t have those kinds of issues. So our situation now is that the Health Department has a certain number of parking spots and a certain number of roads, and we’re not looking to restrict that in any way. When we complete our project, part of our plan is to repave the entire parking lot. It won’t be restricted or expanded or anything. So right now the Health Department has full access to all of the parking lots. We have dedicated parts, so we’ve told our employees they cannot park there. That’s what the planned community does. We’re going to come to an agreement for contingencies. We’re all on the same page. It’s just a matter of getting it all written down.”
Commissioner Luis Lopez II said he was glad that the plans for the hospital renovations were moving forward with input from all parties involved and made the motion to approve the property transfer.
Board Chairman Mack Louden commented on the importance of the hospital renovations to the community as a whole. “I guess I see this as a positive for the community and we just have a few little things to work out. I think it’s good.”
In other action at the meeting, the Board:
·Approved a contract with Straight Line Construction for courthouse improvements. The project is scheduled to begin in January 2019 and will involve asbestos removal and stabilizing the building’s foundation.
·Approved the low bid of $21, 383 from Miracle Recreation for ADA (Americans with Disabilities ACT) compliant playground equipment to be installed at the County Fairgrounds.
·Approved Capital Improvement Project funding of $8,333 for the county’s share of a five-year runway maintenance project at the Perry Stokes Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will provide $100,000 as its share of the project funding.