During the Southeast Utah Board of Health meeting on Tuesday, Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD) Health Officer Brady Bradford presented a Moab building update and opened discussion regarding the options.
Recently, Utah State built a new campus south of Moab. The Moab Free Health Clinic purchased the property that the university vacated, which consists of about five or six parcels with three buildings. Bradford explained that the pandemic made it clear how much the SEUHD outgrew the building in Moab and stated that the clinic was anxious to have a partner in the project.
The idea is that the campus could basically be a nonprofit campus for residents in Grand County. Bradford explained that the idea, at least initially, was that the clinic would take half of the east building and the SEUHD would take half. The west building would then be rented out to other nonprofit organizations.
However, Bradford said that he did not know if half of the building would be enough for the health department, but really liked the parking availability and the idea of being part of a nonprofit campus. Then, with the genesis of the project, information was obtained about potential costs that turned out to be not quite as accurate as believed.
When they were preparing to move into the proposed rental agreement/triple net maintenance and utilities, the amount that was proposed did not fit with Bradford’s understanding of where the agreement was heading financially. This was not something he blamed on anyone and said that it just happened.
A few weeks later, the clinic re-approached the SEUHD with a lower proposal. In recent discussion, it was also indicated that the health department could buy into the property and have equity. They would have to get the building appraised, but it would eliminate rental costs, though associated maintenance costs would remain.
Bradford stated that, at this time, there is not a great vision of the right pathway forward. As indicated, there is still an allure of being in a place where those that need help can go and get an array of services.