La Salle expects dialysis clinic completion in March
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
A four-year project to establish a kidney dialysis clinic in La Salle County is weeks away from completion, with a building ready to open after a final inspection.
Addressing county commissioners at their meeting Friday, January 6, financial and management consultant Carl Esser of Uvalde said he believes the construction project is close to the point of having a completion report sent to the Texas Department of Agriculture, which provided some of the funding.
Esser’s report comes months after La Salle County had expected to open its clinic; a prior completion date had been set for June last year, but construction delays, inspections and corrections to apparent design flaws necessitated an extension to that plan.
“This will be of tremendous benefit to the county,” Esser told the court, “but it has been a difficult project. It is not a hundred percent complete yet.”
La Salle County is responsible for submitting a completion report to the TDA, outlining how grant funds were used in the project. Esser said such a report was completed in September.
“This gave us some breathing room,” the consultant said of the state-mandated timeline. “It has been conditionally approved by the agency, because the clinic is not open yet.
“This allows the county and the TDA to meet special conditions,” he added. “Since that time, the TDA required the county to have a management agreement with an operator by the end of December.”
La Salle squeaked into the deadline by signing an agreement with Satellite Health on December 30 and “that milestone has been met,” the consultant said.
Commissioners learned that the final stage of the clinic project is to ensure it serves its first client by March 31, opening for business in less than three months.
When the clinic opens, La Salle will submit another close-out report to the state agency and will affirm that it has begun serving beneficiaries.
Still remaining on the check-off list for the clinic is a series of water tests that will take 30 days. The state health department will examine the results and determine whether the facility is in a condition to serve patients.
“We have a meeting on January 26 with all the players,” County Judge Leodoro Martinez said of the final weeks of the clinic project. “We will assess completion at that time.”
Martinez noted in a later interview that the county is expecting to receive a refund on some construction costs totaling around $90,000. The money, he said, is returned because La Salle successfully argued that deficiencies in the structure required correcting.
Commissioners acknowledged Esser’s report and indicated they will take action on the final project completion document when the clinic is ready to open.