Farmington Family Practice Building May Have New Use
Hospital offers property to town to use as new police station
December 16, 2010
On December 14, Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH) President and CEO Rebecca Ryder presented to the town of Farmington Board of Selectmen the offer of donating its medical practice property at 116 Franklin Avenue in Farmington so that it can serve as the town’s new police station.
Plans have been underway for the last six months to relocate Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice to the ground floor of the Medical Arts Center on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus. The move is expected to take place in March, leaving the current nearly 6,000 square-foot structure on Franklin Avenue vacant. FMH leadership saw no future need for the property. After taking into account an uncertain real estate market together with the expense of heating and maintaining the building for a potentially extended period of time, the hospital’s board of directors voted at its November 23 meeting to offer the building to the town.
“The town has supported Franklin Memorial Hospital for many years in terms of public safety services—most recently with the fire in our Medical Arts Center. As a not-for-profit organization, FCHN is not required to pay property taxes; nonetheless, we have historically strived to make an annual donation to the town to acknowledge its public services. This year with sweeping health care reform, combined with increased charity care and declining reimbursement for health care services, we have a very uncertain fiscal year ahead of us. Given this uncertainty, it is doubtful as to whether or not the hospital would be able to make a monetary donation to the town anytime in the foreseeable future,” said Ryder. “However, we do have an asset that can be of use for the town’s pressing need for a police station, and we are thrilled to be able to make this donation.”
In November 2009, voters defeated by a very narrow margin a referendum to build a new police station. Although there was strong support that the police needed better space, the poor economic climate at the time was likely a deterrent to the passage of the referendum. Since then, town officials have been exploring other space options.
“We think this is a win-win situation,” said Joseph Bujold, FMH’s Board Chairperson. “It is a practical way for the hospital to make a non-monetary contribution to recognize town services to the hospital. In turn, residents of Farmington can meet the facility needs of public safety services without a large financial investment.
The property exchange requires residents to formally accept the property as a donation at the Farmington Town Meeting in March.
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