March 16, 2021
Mayor Michelle Coldiron
Commissioner David Rice
Commissioner Craig Cates
Commissioner Mike Forster
Commissioner Eddie Martinez
Re: Agenda Item N3 – Poinciana Gardens Senior Living Facility
Dear Mayor Coldiron and Monroe County Commissioners:
The board of directors of Last Stand does not support the County considering the assumption of a $21 million debt, nor supporting the management of Poinciana Gardens Senior Living Facility.
Currently, Poinciana Gardens is only at 53% occupancy, with $1.5 million dollars in annual revenue and $2.8 million dollars in annual expenditures. Two health care provider businesses were unable to make this facility profitable, let alone have it break even. Last Stand cannot support adding this unnecessary financial burden on the taxpayers of Monroe County.
Currently, there are only two Florida counties that operate Senior Living Facilities: Miami-Dade and Monroe. As of today, The County’s Bayshore Manor has only seven active residents in a 16-bed Assisted Living Facility. The idea of transferring those residents and the $1 million budget would make Poinciana Gardens somewhat more financially feasible.
The big question that has to be asked is: Why is Monroe County considering taking on additional debt and/or financial responsibilities when it is currently examining various methods to raise over $1 billion dollars to address the expected impacts of sea-level rise?
Our members tell us they were unaware that the Housing Authority planned to build a Senior Assisted Living compound in Key West until the grand opening was announced. The public was never involved in the planning, design, budgeting or management plan, so they think it is inappropriate to ask County taxpayers to bail out an unsound project.
Last Stand believes the BOCC and the Housing Authority have two choices. Either develop a realistic, viable, financial plan that demonstrates Poinciana Gardens can operate without any financial assistance from our County tax dollars, or abandon any plans for the County to assume the $21 million dollar debt and operate the facility.
For the Last Stand Board,
D.A. Aldridge, President
cc: Roman Gastesi (Via Email)