June 14, 2021
RE: Agenda Item M9: Poinciana Gardens Senior Living Facility
Dear Mayor and Commissioners:
Last Stand continues to oppose any obligation for the maintenance and upkeep of the
Poinciana Gardens Senior Living Facility (hereinafter referred to as “PG”).
Please understand that our comments are made without the benefit of certain
documentation including the financial report by Robin Bleier, as it has not yet been
made available at the time of this writing.
The following are the reasons we oppose the assumption of any obligation for this
facility by the County:
1. The City of Key West voted to build a senior living facility in 2013. Monroe
County was not asked nor did the County suggest it would cooperate in such an
endeavor. The City Housing Authority in 2018 bragged that PG was not built
with taxpayer dollars. Today, the Housing Authority is exactly doing that, asking
to use county taxpayer dollars to support a failing PG.
2. The County citizens have spoken via its CommuniKeys Plans and County’s
Strategic Plan process (currently updated) on its priorities and desires. Nowhere
in those documents do you see any mention of senior living facilities.
3. The County has been steadily spending money on capital projects and other
issues that have been prioritized over the years. Now, the County is considering
moving PG at the top of the list, ignoring all the years of work and promises to the
citizens about improvements to our community.
4. The BOCC will again be discussing sea-level rise and raising roads this month.
The Army Corps of Engineers is looking to the County to raise its share of almost
a billion dollars for infrastructure hardening. These costs are huge, and every
effort is now being taken to find funds to meet impacts of sea-level rise. One has
to ask why the County is considering taking on additional financial burdens.
5. The representative for the Housing Authority commented at the June 1, 2021,
Key West Commission meeting and mentioned in the Citizen that there were
other options that could be pursued to lower the costs of PG. These endeavors
should be undertaken first, before the County even considers providing other
6. The financial burden is not only a $21M mortgage obligation, but additionally
the years of shortfalls, escalating costs of building maintenance and
improvements required by changing regulatory requirements. Nowhere is there
an analysis of the “true” cost to the County it would be required to assume.
Last Stand recommends the following:
We strongly encourage performance of a “Due Diligence” review of this
property. At the last BOCC meeting and in discussions with some of the
Commissioners, important pieces of necessary information were missing for
the Commissioners to make a sound decision to fully understand the current
situation with PG. This includes:
a. History: purchase of the land, the restrictions placed on the land;
b. Encumbrances: the amount, conditions, and “owners” of the notes and
mortgages on the property;
c. Costs of remedying the physical facility as discussed in the Physical
d. Costs of suggested improvements to produce additional revenue as
discussed by Robin Bleier; and
e. Census data review to understand if the potential pool of eligible
individuals is sufficient to run PG without a loss As with any major
financial move, being it to buy land, assume a mortgage, etc., “buyer
beware” holds in this situation. The BOCC needs to take an in-depth
review before taking any action.
2. Shift the responsibility of PG where it belongs, that is to the City of Key West
and its Housing Authority. The County could offer to authorize $400,000
in 2022, $300,000 in 2023, and $200,000 in 2024. No further financial
assistance would be provided. This gives the Housing Authority time to
implement any measures to place the facility on a financial basis to “break
3. “Think outside of the box.” Some ideas: have KOTS take over the
responsibility of Bayshore Manor and get out of the senior living business;
only pay for the Bayshore Manor residents’ costs at PG, ending when there are
no longer any Bayshore Manor residents living in PG; encourage a private
senior living facility in Marathon for ALL county residents.
Thank you for your consideration on this important matter.
For the Last Stand board,
D.A. Aldridge, President
cc: Roman Gastesi (Via Email)