Hospital Board makes first key decisions


PINEDALE – Taking the first steps to becoming a solid organization, the Sublette County Hospital District Board of Trustees passed several motions at its meeting Wednesday night.

Following an executive session, the trustees voted unanimously to retain attorney Tom Lubnau out of Gillette as legal counsel. The board chose Lubnau’s firm out of four prospective applicants.

Trustee Jamison Ziegler stated that Lubnau brought “piles of experience in hospitals and hospital boards.” Fellow trustee Dr. Brendan Fitzsimmons agreed, stating that that in addition to his extensive health-care knowledge, Lubnau possessed valuable experience working with the state Legislature.

In order to pay for legal services and establish a financial foundation, the board approved a motion to seek a limited line of credit through First Bank. The Sublette County Rural Health Care District (SCRHCD) and Sublette Center both have existing primary accounts through First Bank. The trustees agreed that remaining with First Bank for the immediate future would provide stability and continuity for the SCRHCD and Sublette Center’s accounting staff during the process to turn assets over to the hospital district by the end of the fiscal year in June.

Dave Doorn, administrative director for the SCRHCD, reported to the board that most of the paperwork for the USDA loan was complete. The list included appraisals, financial reports and a preliminary architectural report.

The SCRHCD is working on an environmental report and is in negotiations with the Highland Irrigation District to relocate a ditch running through the SCRHCD’s property, Doorn added. He said that once the environmental report was completed, the remaining application process included approving a management partner, creating bylaws and hiring a construction manager.

Ziegler proposed obtaining a construction manager at risk. Based on his construction experiences as a Sublette County School District No. 1 board member, Ziegler explained that the construction manager at risk is one of three construction delivery methods. The contract requires the construction manager to deliver a project within a guaranteed maximum price up front based on the architectural specifications available at the time, Ziegler added.

The construction manager at risk system would allow the hospital district to know construction costs in advance, Ziegler explained. Davis Partnership Architects, the firm the SCRHCD hired to design the preliminary architectural report, recommended a construction manager at risk, Ziegler said, and already drafted requests for proposals.

The board passed a motion to begin the process to send out RFPs and start moving on acquiring a construction manager at risk.

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