Hospital board approves sale of property to Northwest Colorado Health | CraigDailyPress.com

Hospital board approves sale of property to Northwest Colorado Health

CRAIG — The Board of Trustees at Memorial Regional Health has authorized CEO Andy Daniels to enter into an agreement with lease-holders Northwest Colorado Health to sell the building at 745 Russell St. for $690,000.

"This was a difficult decision," said MRH CEO Andy Daniels. "Although we have an immediate need for additional space, the decision was made in what we thought best served the community."

As part of a master site planning process in 2016, comprehensive mechanical, electrical and plumbing evaluations were made of the Russell Street property, which is currently home to MRH Medical Clinic, the VA Clinic and Northwest Colorado Health.

Reports showed that most of the building should be vacated and demolished, with the exception of the newest part of the Russell Street property — a standalone structure built in 1996 that is connected to the old hospital — that has been leased to NWCH for many years.

"We notified NWCH in April that we were not going to auto-renew the existing lease as part of our master site planning needs," Daniels said. "Although this building was originally built and paid for by the hospital, we wanted to be sensitive to the needs of the community by giving NWCH the opportunity to purchase this building."

Northwest Colorado Health's Board of Directors submitted a letter of intent to MRH to begin a review of the building.

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"As a longtime renter of this space, a purchase would allow our organization longterm stability through ownership. Having a year-to-year lease always offers a risk of relocation," said NWCH Executive Director Lisa Brown.

Ownership would also provide greater flexibility in designing and upgrading the space.

Brown said that, as owner, NWCH would "invest in upgrades that will benefit our ability to continue providing our award-winning care in partnership with patients and community."

MRH will now formally request that the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners pass a resolution to allow the sale.

"All property purchased by the hospital is titled in the name of Moffat County. By statute, a county hospital cannot take title to property. This is why we have to involve the commissioners," said MRH Vice President of Operations Jennifer Riley.

In the meantime, NWCH will continue the process of evaluating and negotiating the purchase, including seeking financing.

"We are optimistic that we will be able to reach a mutually favorable agreement for this transaction," Brown said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.