Gadsden County commissioners approved a budget amendment for $155,000 to fund 1,200 square feet of physician office space at the Gadsden Campus of Capital Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
The space is intended to house specialists and primary care doctors on a time-share basis in the area now leased by Capital Regional Medical Center, the operators of the county’s emergency room facility.
In a previous meeting, representatives from CRMC had explained to the commission that they had doctors who were interested in opening part-time offices in Gadsden County.
The budget amendment passed in a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Brenda Holt voting against the measure.
The debate among the commissioners came in a related item that would allow CRMC to be the construction manager of the project.
According to county administrator Rober Presnell, CRMC had agreed to oversee the project and not to exceed the designated $155,000 amount.
CRMC will also purchase and maintain the furniture, equipment and supplies for the physician offices as well as pay the county $1,000 a month rent for the space.
The space for the offices is in the unfinished area that CRMC now has under contract.
At issue for several commissioners was that the project had not been bidded out.
An additional problem about the facility, according to county building official Clyde Collins and the reason he had recommended CRMC to be the construction manager, was the need for approval by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for the office space.
AHCA oversees hospitals like Gadsden and has certain guidelines that must be adhered to during any addition to a hospital.
The first vote to approve CRMC as the construction manager failed in a two to three vote with commissioners Brenda Holt, Sherrie Taylor and Eric Hinson on the prevailing side.
Taylor changed the motion to include that CRMC put out local bids for the construction.
That motion passed 4-1 with Holt casting the opposing vote.