Plans for a Palomar Pomerado satellite healthcare facility to be built in Ramona are continuing, despite the news of high fees imposed by the county and by the Ramona Municipal Water District.
The 37,000-square-foot medical building is designated to be built on Main Street between 13th and 14th streets.
County transportation impact fees (TIF), along with sewer and water connection fees, are expected to total an additional $700,000 to $1 million to the cost of the project. Dr. Marcelo Rivera, director of the Palomar Pomerado Health Board, noted that is a significant amount and said they need to look at the project economically and see if those fees could be mitigated.
Michael Shanahan, director of facilities planning development for Palomar Pomerado Health, said they are sending letters to the Ramona Municipal Water District and to the County of San Diego regarding the fees and asking for relief as one public agency to another.
Tim Stanton, RMWD district engineer, said the connection for the sewer is around $224,000 and the fee for the water hook-up is about $312,000. The amounts are strictly driven by the number of equivalent dwelling units (EDU) required for the facility, he said. One EDU, Stanton explained, is like a house. A larger facility is equal to more EDUs. In this case the healthcare facility is equal to about 11.5 EDUs.
Hooking to the sewer system is estimated to cost $20,000 per EDU, Stanton said. The medical building would connect to the Santa Maria Wastewater Treatment plant, which needs to be expanded to handle additional capacity.
“We can’t even be sure it’s $20,000; it could be more,” Stanton said. “It costs what it costs.”
With the TIF estimated around $250,000, Shanahan said they are attempting to see if their TIF category can be changed and thus result in a lower fee, as the healthcare facility should have very little impact on the roads.
Shanahan said the mitigated negative declaration for the project has been completed and he is expecting approval from the Palomar Pomerado Hospital District Board on Feb. 8. The project will then go to the county for final approval.
Marcia Jackson, director of facilities planning and transformation for Palomar Pomerado Health, said once they receive final approval, they will work on financing for construction and pre-leasing arrangements. PPH is working with Pacific Medical Buildings, which will handle the leases.
According to Shanahan, Centre for Healthcare will definitely be a partner in the new health center. He and Rivera said they expect North County Health Services in Ramona to also move into the building.
Shanahan said PPH is not sure when it will break ground on the medical center.
Money for the new center will come from a bond measure voters approved in 2004. In 2006, PPH purchased the 2.6-acre Main Street property for $2.4 million.