TRURO – With the move to the new regional hospital in Truro now complete, it’s time to find a way to move the old facility off the books.
That ’s the challenge facing officials at the Colchester East Hants Health Authority who must deal with the continuing costs of heating and maintaining the former Colchester Regional Health Authority.
“We have to secure the site,” said CEO Peter MacKinnon. “We do need to keep some heat on so that the sprinkler pipes and so on don’t burst and damage the asset. We have to have insurance and so on, so those costs are there and we want to minimize them.”
The authority has a budget of about $200,000 to maintain the site until the end of this fiscal year but once that is gone, any continued expense will have to be sourced elsewhere.
“It’s not inexpensive and so, for us, now that we’ve got the move to the new site behind us, we want to move forward pretty expeditiously… ,” MacKinnon said.
The land and buildings at the old site have been appraised, although MacKinnon would not discuss those figures because it could affect potential offers. A hazard assessment has also been conducted, he said.
“It almost doesn’t matter what type of building you are looking at you are going to find something in there and given the age and activity in our building there’s things in there that will have to be addressed.”
And while there have been some ‘tire kickers’ who have checked out the facility, no one has yet expressed any “overt” interest, MacKinnon said.
“There’s a lot of public interest in it in and there’s a lot of interest from our end in getting things resolved so we’re going to turn our attention to it in a pretty focused way now that we’re into our new site,” he said.
Even demolishing the facility to eliminate future costs of securing and maintaining the old hospital building is not necessarily a simple solution because of costs that could reach into the multi-millions.
“Suffice to say, demolition of that building would be a significant cost,” MacKinnon said. “It’s a project in and of itself.”
Part of the disposition process will include determining if there is interest from any level of government in acquiring the facility.