Maintenance Needs For 3 Facilities Identified at June Hospital District Meeting

Hopkins County Hospital District Board of Directors on Monday discussed three areas in need of improvement: the EMS building, Memorial Gardens and the roof of a Church Street building.

The need for a roof replacement at a Church Street practice was discussed by Hopkins County Hospital District Board of Directors a their regular June meeting Monday.

Church Street Roof Repairs

The roof of a chiropractic clinic in the 500 block of Church Street was reported to have sustained significant hail damage from recent storms and needs to be replaced.

HCHD CEO Ron Folwell reported the roof was not currently leaking, but that there had been some damages sustained within from a previous problem

The building is being rented for $1,000 a month. Hospital officials said they are about 98 percent sure insurance will cover the costs of a new roof to replace the old one, estimated to be about 35 years old. Of course, the deductible too would have to be paid.

Attorney Tommy Allison reminded the hospital board of directors to keep in mind there is a statute of limitations, which requires insurance claims be filed within a certain span of time. He recommended the matter be turned over to the insurance company, then if approved, seek bids for the project.

The board followed the recommendation, opting to contact the insurance company, then when/if approved, seek bids for repairs. If needed a lunch meeting for HCHD board could be scheduled prior to the regular August meeting if needed for the project to move forward.

Memorial Gardens Maintenance

Folwell too reported Memorial Gardens are in need of significant work, especially the large fountain which is in need of some significant work and some landscaping related to the runoff of water. When it floods, water from the parking lot overflows into the fountain.

The estimate for the project is just over $20,000. The Health Care Foundation has $10,000 set aside for this project, Folwell said.

Smith said he’d talked to the Health Care Foundation Executive Director Meredith Caddell, who noted the funding is from Sulphur Springs Adult Leadership. The funds had actually been designated for the city of Sulphur Springs for a big digital sign. The city declined the sign, so the money has been designated to the foundation to fix the water fall. That would fix the waterfall, Smith said, but infrastructure is another piece of the garden maintenance request. The water needs to be rerouted, to prevent the pump from continuing to burn up.

That would make the hospital district’s cost $10,180. The garden is used for many public events, including weddings, so officials would like to get it back into shape for use, Folwell told board members.

Paul Harvey, CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital Sulphur Springs CEO, said he’d talked to Caddell to talk to City Manager Marc Maxwell about the issue, to see if some of that could potentially be city work.

The proposal was made to designate up to $10,180, to approve the Leadership Class funding for the project, see if the city will help to cover some of the trenching.

Board member Chris Brown asked if there’d been any bids sought to compare prices.

Harvey reported Caddell had tried to get other bids, but MS Landscaping was the only only one she’d had success with. Board president Kerry Law said he knew of only one other service in town that performs that type of work,.

Allison said to be in compliance with state laws, he thought bid process was required.

The board opted, instead of waiting for the August meeting, to go ahead and seek bids for the project, posting the process in the usual manner and time requirements, authorizing up to $10,180 for the project, and going with someone else only if they present a lower bid. Any acceptable bid would have to come from a business that meets industry standards, including having workers compensation. The project would get under way before the August meeting if a bid is favorable at or below the specified price and meeting all requirements.

EMS Building Needs

Brent Smith, director of EMS services, points out areas in the EMS facility that need improvement during Monday’s regular Hopkins County Hospital District Board meeting.

HCHD board CEO Ron Folwell told hospital district board the EMS building has been experiencing maintenance issues which need serious repairs, and asked the board to discuss the possibility of replacing it instead.

“The building, it’s OK, but it’s starting to fall apart. It’s got a lot of things wrong with it. It’s been there quite a while,” Folwell said.

Brent Smith, director of EMS services, reported in the last storm the underpinning on the south wall of the EMS building was blown down. The upper southeast corner of the building has a dark sport that looks like it’s been burned. Smith said it has not burned, but there is a substance on it and a gap where it is coming apart, allowing water to enter the building. The stucco along that wall is coming off and the wood behind it is deteriorating.

Smith explained the building is made of four module trailers put together. The section between the trailer housing the director’s office, crew and communications areas is separating and beginning to pull apart. So far, there’s no leak, but the area is pulling apart, Smith told the board.

The building pulling apart from the foundation, where its deteriorating along the concrete. The underpinning on the north wall is pulling away. On that wall, stucco has come off, baring the wood, which has become rotten, Smith reported.

One window sill is in bad condition, and while not currently allowing water in, left unattended it will likely become a problem in the very near future, Smith said.

The whole piece along and under the back door is rotted needs to be replaced, according to Smith.

The west corner wall where utilities such as a fiber line and electricity come into the building, and where the breaker boxes for the EMS facility are located, is starting to take on water, Smith told the board.

Superficial stucco is coming off across the back. A section of board that holds up the structural ending is splintered, almost like you’re trying to attach cardboard. If you touch it, it’s falling apart. When the storm came through, it didn’t take much to blow that piece of press plywood down; that area is exposed. The EMS director said he is currently working to get that repaired.

“Essentially, Ron and I were talking and I kinda wanted to throw this out there, whether to put a committee together or look at some ideas about what housing [for EMS] looks like in a year or two down the road. I’m concerned because the building seems to be deteriorating quicker over time. We fix in pieces. We did some stuff. We do something to it every year. It’s like chasing a tail, you’re in a circle. I just need to put it on the radar that we need to do something in the next 2-3 year time frame,” Smith said.

Smith said, based on current maintenance and building issues, he does not anticipate the EMS building lasting another 2 years “without having major issues.”

He suggested a piece of property owned by the hospital district, located on the opposite side of Memorial Gardens facing Airport Road, would be an ideal location for a new EMS station. That would allow the EMS facility to remain centrally located near the hospital.

When asked about flooding on the property, Smith said the location he has in mind is up pretty high; he hasn’t seen water from rains rise that high. He said water from the lot across Airport Road to a church across the street was under water. However, Smith said he did not see water in the lot during the most recent rainstorm. The bottom near the creek by the nursing home floods, but he doesn’t think it comes up as far as the lot where he suggested an EMS station be located

“So, I think there’s room. There’s options there,” Smith said.

“I really think that’s something we need to address in our upcoming budget, whether we find something existing or build something,” HCHD Board President said.

The building was only constructed to last 5 years, then the facility would relocate elsewhere. It’s been utilized more than twice that time, Smith pointed out.

HCHD Board member Chris Brown asked Paul Harvey, CHRISTUS Mother Francis Hospital Sulphur Springs CEO Paul Harvey if the hospital is full space-wise. Harvey affirmed except for some space on the second floor, the hospital is full.

“Maybe for our August meeting we can bring it back up for discussion. Everyone who wants to have some input, have some ideas, that would be a great time to go and put some thought into what size you have now, and if we’re going to build something, build something that can be added on to,” Law said.

Smith said he’d bring some ideas to the board, which could be considered at a later meeting.

Law asked Smith to consult with officials who have more recently constructed similar facilities regarding costs, to get an idea how much one would run.

Harvey said he’d be glad to speak with them regarding costs, as CHRISTUS recently had a project for which they discussed construction costs.

Author: Faith Huffman

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