Sacramento County Clinic Project Faces Budget ‘Overrun’
The projected cost of Sacramento County's new primary care clinic has increased 38% from $30 million to $41.4 million, according to a revised estimate from county officials, the Sacramento Bee reports. The revised estimate for the clinic project, which the county Board of Supervisors approved in December 2000, includes an additional $6 million for "technology and upgraded infrastructure" and $4.9 million for "furniture, fixtures and equipment." County officials Monday "blamed the overrun" on an "unusual process" used to set the budget for the clinic "before the project was fully designed." The county has hired All Star Investments LLC to build the 100,000-square-foot facility to replace a "crowded and outdated" county clinic across the street. According to county officials, the company had planned "to build and lease a new primary care clinic for about $28 million." The county approved a budget of $30 million and agreed to cover the cost of the project with funds from the county's share of the national tobacco settlement, officials said. Although, representatives from All Star said that the company had proposed a $36 million budget, according to All Star attorney Gregory Thatch, the county "came back and said, 'We only have $30 million,' so we had to find a way to do that."
However, the county has made "substantial changes" to the project since last December. The county, amid objections from local residents about "noise and visual intrusion," approved a plan in April to lower a two-story garage and move the structure farther from the property line at a cost of $500,000. In addition, the county ordered a $770,160 air-filtration system and ultraviolet lights to protect clinic staff in the aftermath of a recent TB outbreak. The county also approved $5.2 million for "communications and security systems" and a central temperature control facility. Some of the added costs resulted from federal rules "that the county did not know about," while an additional $4.9 million for "furniture, fixtures and equipment is a bookkeeping matter" that the county had not previously addressed, the Bee reports. County supervisors met yesterday to hear the county's report on the project, which included a recommendation to "tap" capital construction funds and internal county accounts to cover the "added project costs" (Davila, Sacramento Bee, 12/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.