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Med-Care awards bid for new facility
The 160x80-foot structure will be double the size of Med-Care's Main Street building. It will have four bays for emergency vehicles, a code-compliant living space and a storage area.
PERU -- Over the course of the next nine to 12 months, a five-year effort to establish a new base for Med-Care Ambulance will finally be realized.
Last Wednesday, the Med-Care Board of Directors voted unanimously to award the construction bid for a 160x80-foot steel building to Sheridan Corp. of Fairfield. Recently, the board entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Oxford Federal Credit Union to purchase a parcel of about two acres just off Route 2 on Highland Terrace.
The base bid, with add-ons, of $1,509,820, was the lowest from among the five bidders. Sheridan will be utilizing local businesses as subcontractors, although not exclusively.
Board President Steve Brown said Sheridan has "the most experience of engineered steel buildings in the state. We feel comfortable working with them."
The total cost of the project will be $1,761,820, which was also unanimously approved by the board. This includes $100,000 for the land, $45,000 for architectural fees, and $77,000 for contingency (for change orders or things that might arise).
The project also includes $10,000 each for landscaping, furnishings and signage.
Director of Operations Dean Milligan said the landscaping includes planting eight- to 10-foot hardwood trees, placed between the two driveways, and the front of the building. The signage will be one sign, lighted, out by the road, similar to the sign by the Dirigo Elementary School with the main sign and a message board.
The new facility, double the same of their present facility, will have four garage bays, adequate sleeping/living quarters for full- and part-time employees, storage space and enlarged office space.
The current ambulance building has housed the service for the past 20 years. The current facility is in violation of the state fire code for employees to live on the site and would cost approximately $250,000 to be brought up to code, not to mention that it’s too small to house the large fleet of service vehicles and technicians.
The project narrowly fits within Med-Care's budget, set at $1.8 million.
Brown said, "Months ago, we worked into our budget what we could afford to do and do it without increasing the subsidy to the towns."
Board treasurer Jim Pulsifer noted, "When we went through all this stuff, we were low on our per capita, operating too close to the vest. We brought it up to $18 and I see no reason why, (unless) foreseeing a complete depression, that we cannot maintain that."
He noted that as far back as 25 years ago, the per capita to the towns was between $12 and $15. That is remarkable considering that the number of emergency and transfer calls annually has climbed to nearly 4,000, compared to 10 years ago when that number was fewer than 2,900.
Med-Care is utilizing a construction loan through Franklin Savings Bank, which they will draw on as they need it.
Brown said there were definite concerns about bids coming within budget, and they were very close, with some being over. "The architect, with his engineers, did an excellent job on designing a facility to work within the budget, the constraints that we had, and to do it in such a way that we ended up with a cost where we had a spread that was right."
Milligan said that presently, work is being done to finalize the deed, which includes working with covenants.
"An appraisal is being done on the present building and what the projected value of the project will be when completed. Those two collectively have to equal or be greater than what Med-Care is looking to take out for a loan," he said.
Milligan is hopeful for a project startup of Oct. 15. He said Sheridan figures this project could be completed in eight to nine months, but they have 12 months to complete the project.
Med-Care Ambulance services 550 square miles for 11 towns. They currently employs 60 people, including 15 full-time.