The North Coast’s health care district trustees say more information is needed before they decide the future of the Main Street property the agency has owned for decades and the related topic of where the ambulances and medics ultimately should be housed.
After nearly 90 minutes of discussion and debate Tuesday, June 28, Cambria Community Healthcare District trustees voted 4-1 to approve Trustee Barbara Bronson Gray’s motion to have the agency’s Property and Facilities Committee research and present more data on all the options before it. Those include:
▪ Option 1: Staying at 2535 Main St., the current home base for the ambulances and staff and continuing to repair and remodel the buildings, some of which are 60 years old and have some issues, including asbestos (fully enclosed within the structure). The district owns that property.
▪ Option 2: Demolishing the current structures and building a new facility on that property.
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▪ Option 3: Purchasing a new site with building(s) to remodel and then selling the current site.
▪ Option 4: Purchasing vacant land or property with structures to demolish, then building a new facility.
Trustee Mary Anne Meyer voted no. Her motion to authorize the committee to research only Option 3 (the committee’s recommendation) was voted down after Bronson Gray’s motion was approved.
Bronson Gray had likened Option 3 to the old TV show, “Let’s Make A Deal,” in which contestants had to pick a door without knowing exactly what was behind it.
All the options are expensive. According to Board President Kristi Jenkins, with CCHD’s 2016-17 budget of $1.7 million in income and expenses (a fiscal blueprint the board approved at the same meeting), and set reimbursement rates for ambulance services, the district doesn’t have much opportunity to stockpile extra funds.
Therefore, paying for whatever option the trustees select will require extra money from somewhere, whether from grants, donations to a new nonprofit foundation the district could set up, selling the property or increasing benefit assessment fees paid annually by ratepayers.
Trustees are scheduled to discuss the options again at the district’s next meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at the Old Cambria Grammar School’s main-building conference room, 1350 Main St.