Transfer agreement nearly complete


PINEDALE – The Sublette County commissioners and Sublette County Hospital District (SCHD) took steps to finalize the transfer agreement regarding ownership of the Pinedale Clinic and Public Health buildings at the commissioners’ July 19 meeting.

Deputy County Attorney Clayton Melinkovich told the commissioners the hospital district was prepared to sign a final version of the transfer agreement.

Two issues remained to be ironed out, Melinkovich said – whether the county wanted to hire an owner’s representative to oversee the project and a leaking roof at the Pinedale Clinic.

Chairman Joel Bousman said he and Commissioner Tom Noble met with Dave Doorn, SCHD administrator, the SCHD’s owner’s representative Karl Lueschow, and Davis Architects on July 14 to discuss the county’s role in project oversight.

The discussions led to the formation of an inspection schedule Doorn presented to the commissioners. The SCHD plans to begin construction on the critical access hospital and long-term care facility this September, Doorn announced.

Lueschow will be on site once a month for three or four days, Doorn said. Lueschow planned to coincide his visits with the commissioners’ meetings to provide project updates, Doorn added.

Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would take place on an ongoing and frequent basis, according to Doorn.

Mike Hunsaker, chief operating officer for the SCHD and its management partner, Star Valley Health, committed to visit the building site on a weekly basis, Doorn reported. Davis Architects will have a representative on the ground at least one day a month.

A construction manager from Layton Construction will live onsite and supervise the building process on a daily basis, Doorn said. An assistant superintendent from Layton will be onsite by November, followed by a project engineer in July 2023.

“We will have a lot of eyes on the project,” Doorn explained to the commissioners.

Bousman and Noble expressed satisfaction that the hospital district’s plan is sound and eliminates the need for the county to hire a separate owner’s representative.

“You put together a good team,” Noble told Doorn.

Commissioner Doug Vickrey said he was okay with the plan as long as the county received “good reports.”

The commissioners also came to a consensus to pay for half the cost to repair a leaking section of the roof at the Pinedale Clinic as part of the transfer agreement.

Melinkovich said he plans to have a finalized draft of the transfer agreement ready to present to the SCHD trustees at their next meeting on July 27.

Merger

The commissioners requested an update on the merger between the Sublette Center and SCHD. Doorn told the commissioners the Sublette Center has a draft form of the merger agreement in front of them. SCHD board chairwoman Tonia Hoffman said the district’s attorney was pleased with the language in the draft agreement.

Commissioner Doug Vickrey asked Doorn and Hoffman whether the SCHD anticipated “restructuring” the Sublette Center’s administration.

Doorn responded that the hospital district intended to maintain current operations at the Sublette Center for at least the next two years.

“We are completely satisfied with the administration of the Sublette Center and won’t be making any changes,” he explained. “We are happy with how things are going.”

Public health

Doorn updated commissioners on efforts to relocate Public Health. The Sublette Center was prepared to relocate maintenance equipment from a wing in their building, opening the space to Public Health, Doorn reported.

Bousman asked if the Public Health’s relocation to the Sublette Center would be permanent. Hoffman responded the question is “open ended” in the transfer agreement.

Noble stated the commissioners held “extensive” discussions on a permanent home for Public Health. He asked Public Health Nurse Manager Janna Lee if she preferred relocating to the Sublette Center or into the Pinedale Clinic building.

The Sublette Center site would allow Public Health to “keep our own identity,” Lee replied, noting its close proximity to schools and services for senior citizens.

Noble asked if the hospital district could put together preliminary sketches of plans to remodel a space in the Sublette Center building. Doorn responded affirmatively.

“We will continue to move forward,” said Bousman.

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