By Steve Peterson
Plymouth County supervisors heard a request for funds for Floyd Valley Hospital’s North Addition at their Oct. 1 meeting.
No formal decision was made; and the request may be on the supervisors’ Oct. 15 agenda.
Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin requested a “conversation” begin with the county supervisors for a $400,000 contribution to the three-year expansion.
Seventy-percent, $18 million of the approximately $25.9 million expansion, is expected to come from a USDA/Rural Development loan. Other sources are hospital reserves $2.34 million; City of Le Mars, $3 million; and a $2.6 million capital campaign.
Costs are site development at $700,000; building construction, $19.812 million; equipment and furnishings, $3.414 million and design, engineering, professional fees, etc., $2 million.
Bids are due to the Hospital Board of Trustees on Oct. 15.
“We’re also knocking on doors in the community,” said Donlin. “Over the past 10 months our Foundation has been having area-wide conversations for support of the North Addition project. We’re 80 percent done with that campaign.”
This year the Floyd Valley Hospital’s North Addition schedule would include relocating utilities and the loading dock and beginning installation of a new geothermal system.
In 2014, North Addition construction will be a new clinic, surgery center, offices, lobby, and utility updates over the building’s two stories.
In 2015, the renovation phase would include installing the remaining geothermal system; paving the new parking lot; and modernizing seven patient rooms built in 1973. There were $2 million of the plan’s renovation phase improvements approved in August Local Option Sales Tax Funds.
Akron and Westfield are in the hospital’s “secondary” market area. In FY 2013, Akron residents had 77 Emergency Room (ER) visits to Floyd Valley Hospital; 223 outpatient visits; 404 Family Medical Clinic and 25 for Home Health. Westfield had seven ER visits; 36 all out-patients; 34 Family Medicine Clinic and seven Home Health.
According to figures in a brochure, at Floyd Valley Hospital, Plymouth County had 5,023 ER visits; 21,773 all outpatients; 32,165 Family Medicine Clinic and 327 Home Health. Of those, Le Mars had 4,005 ER visits; 16,842 all outpatients; 23.912 at the Family Medicine Clinic and 211 for Home Health.
“We would like to have a conversation about a contribution of the cost of one bridge. If one bridge could be delayed a year, it would be about $400,000,” said Donlin. “We hope when we open the North Addition we can add the county to the city and citizens as list of supporters. That would be 1.5 percent of the North Addition project. I think it’s a fair amount.”
A county funding option is the Revolving Loan Fund, which has a balance of $450,000; but the county’s Local Option Sales Tax funding will be used for road improvements, supervisors said.
“We said in the election (Aug. 6) that the funds would predominately go to the Secondary Road Department,” said Supervisor Craig Anderson. “I’m not saying there is not some money somewhere else for the hospital.”
“We need to approach it in the context of the upcoming budget,” said Supervisor Don Kass.
“The North Addition project is out for bid. Local banks, financial consultants and the USDA still have some hoops to go through.We’ll negotiate a ground breaking with the winning bidder,” said Donlin of future steps.
“The government recognizes that smaller, rural hospitals have unique needs. Because this project impacts the hospital budget, Floyd Valley Hospital will receive larger Medicare-Medicaid reimbursements to offset some project costs,” stated a brochure.
Donlin said about 350 people work at the hospital, which is 40 years old and affiliated with Avera.
“Our region reaches all over the place, to Sioux and Union counties,” said Donlin.
There are three hospital employees who live in Akron and one in Westfield.
“Over the past two weeks, we polled our employees to see if they were supportive of the North Addition with Plymouth County supervisors and about half said they were. By zip code, 178 were from Le Mars, 43 from Remsen, and 13 from Merrill,” saod Donlin.
For more information call Floyd Valley Hospital at 712-546-7871. Chuck Jasperson is the Foundation manager.