Powell Valley Healthcare ambulance garage project put on hold as costs soar

Posted 4/28/22

The Powell Valley Hospital District Board of Directors voted Monday to pass on two bids it received for an ambulance garage project, after the bids came in well over the budget for the …

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Powell Valley Healthcare ambulance garage project put on hold as costs soar

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The Powell Valley Hospital District Board of Directors voted Monday to pass on two bids it received for an ambulance garage project, after the bids came in well over the budget for the project. 

The board, which oversees the Powell Valley Healthcare facilities, is now going to wait until August to see if costs come down or if it secures more funding for the project. 

“It’s kind of an unusual market right now for building,” said PVHC CEO Terry Odom. 

In July 2021, Park County commissioners agreed to give PVHC $298,493 for the station — as well as $209,025 for a new ambulance — from the county’s $5.66 million share of American Rescue Plan funding. The original estimated cost of the project was $312,000. 

TNT Contractors LLC, out of Denver, bid $477,840 for the project, and Buffalo-based Diamond Point Construction Inc. bid $614,845. 

“That’s more expensive than what we were thinking was too expensive,” said Powell Valley Healthcare Director of Facility Management Scott Shopa.

Concerned that the costs were going to exceed the funding the county had originally provided, PVHC approached the commission earlier in April to ask if it could help close the budget shortfalls. The response was that the hospital should seek that funding elsewhere and bring the request back another time, if all else fails. 

Ideally, the project would not only have come in within budget but also included a bathroom and fifth garage bay,  two features not included in the bid proposal in an effort to reduce cost. 

“You start cutting those things out and sooner or later you regret that,” said R.J. Kost, board treasurer. 

The board’s finance committee recommended the project be delayed until August to see if material costs come down, as they were a big reason why the project was coming in over budget. Meanwhile, the hospital will continue to pursue other funding options for the shortfall. 

Odom said the State Loan and Investment Board could be a possible funding source, but it’s too late for the current cycle. The hospital could apply again in September, and if approved, the funding would come in February. It would also require a 50-50 match. 

Trustee Syd Thompson asked if the Powell Medical Foundation would be a possible source, but according to trustee Deb Kleinfeldt, the garage construction is outside the scope of projects the foundation usually funds. 

Kost pointed out that climbing interest rates could slow inflation and help bring costs down. 

“If we can save ourselves some money, we’re going to do our best to hold on and then move forward,” he said. 

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