Commission approves funding for UF care center

The Gainesville City Commission moved forward on Thursday with the UF Health Eastside Urgent Care facility as well as several American Rescue Plan (ARPA) approvals.

UF Health approached the Gainesville and Alachua County commissions in September to create an urgent care facility along SE Hawthorne Road, where UF already owns land.

The facility would provide extended hours and walk-in appointments, addressing needs UF found in studies.

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UF Health asked for funding assistance from the city and county totaling $4.5 million. Alachua County approved the funds on Jan. 25.

The Gainesville Commission approved the funds on Thursday in a 6-1 vote with Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker in dissent.

According to backup documents for the facility, UF Health will pay back all or part of the grants received by the city and county if it stops operations for a six month period:

  • If UF Health stops services within 10 years of opening, it will pay back 100 percent of the grant.
  • If UF Health stops services between 10 and 15 years of opening, it will pay back 75 percent of the grant.
  • If UF Health stops services between 15 and 20 years of opening, it will pay back 50 percent of the grant.
  • If UF Health stops services after 20 years of opening, it will pay back none of the grant.

UF Health reports that the facility will not make the organization money, but the health provider will operate the care center at a loss.

The facility will open 15 to 18 months after UF Health receives the proper zoning, permits and waivers, according to backup documents.

The city will finance its $2.25 million share through the ARPA funds it received last year, and the funds will come through a special $10 million portion also approved on Thursday.

In its final rulings, the federal government allowed ARPA recipients to set aside up to $10 million for general government services. Money in this category can then be used for other projects earmarked for ARPA funds, and the funds allow “streamlined reporting requirements.”

The commission decided to separate the $10 million from its ARPA funds and fund the urgent care clinic and Vision Zero updates.

The commission also moved the staff recommendation to set aside $2,440,377 of its ARPA funds to cover administrative costs.

The money will allocate $52,460 for the city’s contract with the Community Foundation of North Central Florida to handle its nonprofit assistance funds, $1,215,300 for the city’s contract with Government Services Group, LLC to oversee the city compliance with federal guidelines and $1,172,586 to cover the cost of employees working on ARPA funding.

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