Lake George officials eyeing new EMS building, health center

LAKE GEORGE - Municipal officials are seeking to establish a health center in Lake George, and they're proposing to situate it beside a new emergency squad headquarters they'd like to have built.

Monday, after hearing Lake George Emergency Squad Bruce Kilburn detail the agency's severe space limitations at its Gage Road premises, the Lake George Town Board voiced strong support for a new squad building.

Discussing the pressing need for a new headquarters, Supervisor Frank McCoy and Town Board member Fran Heinrich said ideally, the squad building should be located beside a local health center - which the town now doesn't have.

McCoy and Heinrich said they'd met recently with Hudson Headwaters Health Network officials to see if it was feasible for their firm to develop a new health center in Lake George.

Hudson Headwaters operates health centers in 11 communities, including nearby Warrensburg.

McCoy said that he and Heinrich met with HHHN's development officer, Edward "Trip" Shannon and HHHN founder Dr. John Rugge, and the two men had offered positive comments about siting a health center in Lake George.

Heinrich said that HHHN has 4,143 existing clients from Lake George, who account for 10,582 patient-visits annually. McCoy said that these figures supported building a center in Lake George to accommodate the residents as well as the the 50,000 or more tourists and thousands of part-year residents that populate Lake George, primarily in the summer.

"With $1 billion that Obama has earmarked for rural health care, our chances are good, considering we'd score very high on their grant criteria," McCoy said.

McCoy added that with land costs so high in Lake George, it would make sense for the town and village to trim expenses by purchasing a spacious plot for both a health center and the emergency squad to share.

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