In June 2011, core funding for the project was secured by Sanders County Community Development (SCCD) through a competitive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $450,000. It was one of seven grants awarded throughout the state. These federal funds, routed through the Montana Department of Commerce as a public facilities grant to the Town of Hot Springs gave the confidence to pursue funding from additional sources for the construction of the clinic.
Sharon Flesch, wife of Ray Flesch, ESCHD Chairperson and local resident of Hot Springs, directed an on-going fundraiser that has secured $250,000 in individual donations to date. The community effort was outstanding and exceeded set goals. The town of Hot Springs is an inspiration and example for other small communities throughout the state in need of basic infrastructure.
With other supplemental funding from Clark Fork Valley Hospital and the Eastern Sanders County Hospital District, plus a loan commitment from SCCDC the total financial needs for construction were met. The clinic sits on property partially owned by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe. The Tribe has generously donated the land where the clinic is housed on Main Street with a renewable long-term lease at $1/year for 25 years.
Western Interstate Construction, out of Missoula, has been working with Cortner Architechture, out of Spokane, since September 2012. It is exciting to note that Ray Cortner, owner of Cortner Architecture was raised in Hot Springs. There has been a significant number of local subcontractors involved in the project, as well. Ahead of schedule and under budget the newly constructed Hot Springs Family Medical Clinic, a satellite clinic of Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains opened in March 2013.
Sanders County Community Development has been fundamental to its success through project monitoring and administration. SCCD acted as an intermediary between all organizations and activities involved. Together working with CDBG, the Town of Hot Springs, the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe, and the ESCHD, SCCD is proud to have played a role in bringing this essential public facility to the residents of Hot Springs and the surrounding area.