Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 10, 2014

County, Pavilions close to lease deal on Garfield Rd. property

TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County officials found a likely home for a new elderly care program.

Officials from the county and Grand Traverse Pavilions, which primarily provides health care and residential services to elderly county residents, appear poised to ink a lease agreement for the Garfield Road facility that housed the county’s health department until 2012.

The 18,000-square-foot building, barring any setbacks, will become the headquarters for a new service Pavilions leaders hope to launch called Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE.

PACE is a model for delivering in-home care services to seniors enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare.

Pavilions Administrator and CEO Kory Hansen said a PACE program will extend care services to a wider portion of the county’s elderly population in a way that’s more affordable than traditional nursing home care and more appealing to seniors than institutionalized care.

He estimated a new PACE program will create as many as 50 new jobs in the county by the time it’s fully operational.

But Pavilions officials first need to finalize a lease agreement for the county-owned Garfield Road facility.

Officials from both entities inked a 3-month lease option agreement April 1.

The agreement states the Pavilions will pay the county $500,000 over a 20-year period to use the building, if the lease is finalized. The Pavilions also will pay to replace the building’s roof, with the price for that work — probably between $40,000 and $45,000 — deducted from future lease payments.

Hansen said an architect will tour the building sometime late this month to ensure it can facilitate a PACE headquarters.

County commission Chair Herb Lemcool said leasing the former health department site is a better option for the Pavilions than constructing a new building to house the PACE program at a cost of roughly $4 million.

“That would have been a bonding issue going back to the taxpayers for additional money,” he said. “This way they can do it within their budget.”

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