A construction victory for a medical complex in Tuscola County is expected to help develop a similar complex in Huron County.
Bill Putman and his company Putman Developing are in the process of building a $ 7 million, 42,000 square foot medical complex on 5 acres at 1800 W. Caro Road (M-81), Caro.
When this project is complete, Putman Developing aims to build an even larger, state-of-the-art medical complex in the Bad Ax area.
It was an uphill struggle for Putman to get the construction of the medical complex in Caro going again, but he is used to challenges.
After Putman lost his mother at the age of eight and was housed in five different homes, Putman learned to be self-employed, and that did him good with his project in Caro.
After months of construction delays due to disputes with South Central Michigan Construction Code Inspections, the company that hired Tuscola County to handle building codes, Putman and his lawyers sought ways to end the disagreement to move ahead with construction on the complex.
Putman took matters into his own hands and contacted SAFEbuilt to conduct inspections of his Caro complex. SAFEbuilt is a community development service company.
After much research with her legal advisor, the Tuscola County Commissioner approved the Putman development project to be taken over by SAFEbuilt.
The commissioners agreed that their attorney, Eric Morris, was drafting an inspection agreement with SAFE based only on the Putman project. SCMCCI will deal with other building code matters through the end of the contract on September 30th.
For about three years now, commissioners have dealt with various complaints about the SCMCCI’s service, so they voted to terminate their contract with them and launch a call for proposals for another agency to carry out the enforcement duties of the Code takes over.
If a deal hadn’t been worked out, Putman, who had already invested millions of dollars in the Caro project, said he was ready to pull the plug.
“We have to take this somewhere else,” he said. “I’m not threatening. I’m just being blunt and honest. “
Before the commissioners made the decision that SAFEbuilt would work with Putman Developing, Morris indicated that further development of SAFEbuilt could hold the county liable if SCMCCI does not cooperate.
Morris indicated that proceeding without the SCMCCI signing could result in their never signing such an agreement and the county not being able to enter into it.
“It has to happen,” said Commissioner Kim Vaughan. “We will do it whether SCMCCI gives us this clearance or not.”
It was the consensus of the commissioners for SAFEbuilt to handle inspections and code issues with Putman Developing, regardless of whether there were any issues with SCMCCI, as the county’s contract with the company ends in about two months.
Clayette Zechmeister, district controller and board member, also said the state had been contacted about the building code issues and to obtain a list of potential companies that could serve as inspectors for the Putman project.
“SAFEbuilt was one of the companies recommended by the state building codes,” she said.
During the many discussions of problems with Putman Developing and SCMCCI officials, commissioners said they believed that the blame for the construction delays should be borne by both parties.
With the county’s decision to allow Putman Developing to proceed with SAFEbuilt, there was a construction excitement as contracts were signed for the premises at the medical center.
“The decision of the commissioners is exciting,” said Putman. “Not only for our project, but also for what it will bring to the community. I have a feeling that this project will be one of the greatest things for our community. “
McLaren Caro Region signed a lease for approximately 20,000 square feet on the complex. Some of the other services the complex will offer are general practitioners, labs, and imaging. Others who have rented the facility include physical therapy, a pharmacy, urology, chiropractic, and several other medical care services.
A unique aspect of the medical center is that it caters to the needs of veterans in both physical and mental health.
“We’ll pay for it,” Putman said. “You don’t have to worry about VA. We will provide them with the best possible care, and so will the elderly and the mentally and physically challenged. We will pay the bill for it and also check whether there are ways to insure it and, if necessary, better insure it.
“It will not be a hospital, but a complex for medical services from a single source.”
The building code dispute left the complex seven months behind its completion date and more than $ 1 million over budget.
October 21 was set as the target date for a celebration of the complex.
“This date is a thank you to everyone involved,” Putman said. “Then it may not be quite ready, but ready or not, there will be a celebration that day. It has to be done 100% to get a residence permit. “
Putman persuaded McLaren to choose the Caro site from two other options.
“Caro raised me and helped me earn a living,” he said. “This is an opportunity for me to give something back to the area. This project is my last hurray. I’ll retire when it’s done. “
And the Caro complex isn’t the only medical center Putman Developing is planning.
Putman will hand over the reins to his son Blake, who is negotiating a land purchase in the Bad Ax area to build a one-stop medical complex like the one in Caro. The Bad Ax project will be larger at 55,000 square meters and will offer even more services.