Benzie Co. Officials Discuss Future of Maples Medical Care Facility

A brand new building is gathering dust in Frankfort as the discussion over its future continues.

It was a full house Monday morning as people met at the new Maples Medical Care Facility.

The new building in Frankfort has been sitting empty for more than two years.

The county taxpayer-funded Maples was supposed to open in September 2014.

But when inspections were done in early 2015, they found the roof design was not up to code.

Since then, a number of changes have been made and earlier this month the county received a license to operate from the state.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson continue our coverage with how local government is coming together to respond to the issues.

“Were talking a whole lot more than just replacing the roof. We’re talking about the integrity of the Maples,” says Roger Griner, chair of the Benzie County Board of Commissioners.

The Benzie County Board of Commissioners, Department of Health and Human Services, Building Authority, and State of Michigan, coming together to hash out the uncertain future of the Maples Medical Care Facility.

“I firmly resolve that until we replace the roof there ain’t gonna be no peace in the valley,” Griner says.

The new building’s roof was not build to code, putting a freeze on people moving in.

But after installing a new sprinkler system, fire retardant treatment and more smoke detectors, the state gave the green light.

“You are approved to be licensed and to occupy the facility as a nursing home in the state of Michigan,” says Jim Scott, State of Michigan Health Facilities Engineering Section Manager.

But the question remains – will the new building receive the approval it needs from Medicare and Medicaid to finally make it happen.

“Because the roof decking is not pressure treated longer you would be cited for that and you would have to, as your plan of correction, indicate these steps that have been taken and CMS would then grant a waiver to the construction requirement,” Scott says.