Letter to Editor
On Tuesday, May 1st, 2012, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital received its first invoice from The Schoolcraft County Building department. The invoice was for the permit fees for the construction of the replacement hospital.
Schoolcraft Memorial personnel have worked with Federal, State, and County Building officials for over six months since the ground breaking last August. At the time that we received our funding for the project we had only schematic drawings completed. Our staff worked through several redrafts into December last year to finalize our building interior space as we initiated construction of the building shell.
From the first day of construction the County Building Administrator was on site and had oversight of all work. Concurrently much work was ongoing with our State officials who uniquely oversee and approve the interior design of all new hospital buildings. This is a complicated process and many times continues through the early phases of the construction of the building shell. Final design approval is always required prior to building occupancy.
As we do with all invoices, an inquiry was made with the building department regarding how they arrived at the fee. Hospital staff were informed that the fees had been doubled because a permit was not obtained prior to the start of construction. The hospital had received no prior warning that we are subject to a penalty since all work was done openly and under the oversight of the County and State building officials. At no time have we received any indication that the work being performed was substandard or that it was being performed in an unsafe manner. At no time has the hospital stated that we are refusing to pay the standard fee. We are only asking for due process in reviewing the reason for a doubling of the fee from $21,835.00 to $43.670.00.
The hospital has from day one attempted to construct this project as efficiently as possible. The general Contractor, The Gilbane Company is operating under a maximum allowable cost agreement. Any savings generated through the open bid process is savings the hospital will use to buy new and replacement medical equipment for the project. This additional $21,000 is significant.
George Montgomery, CEO
Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital