Benzie County Officials Vote To Open New Maples Medical Care Facility Building

After more than two years of discussion and repairs, a medical care facility in Frankfort can finally open its doors.

Tuesday morning, the Benzie County Health and Human Services board voted to move people into the new Maples Medical Care Facility building.

The new building in Frankfort has been empty since it was supposed to open in 2014.

Inspections showed the roof design was not up to code.

Over the years, a number of changes have been made.

The board received reassurance from the federal government that the building is safe and will receive funding for Medicare and Medicaid services.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson continues our coverage on the future of the new Maples Medical Care Facility building.

“Hopefully get the people in here and make everyone happy.”

After more than two years of asking questions and waiting for answers, the decision to move patients into the new Maples Medical Care Facility has been made.

“Our decision needed reinforcement from the federal government and we were able to get that reinforcement,” says Tom Hart, chair of Benzie County Health and Human Services board. “We feel we’ve gone as far as we can as far as pursuing our goal.”

The decision hits close to home for Kathleen Gorden.

“There’s many, many people that came to The Maples with the idea that they would soon move into this new building and they’ve passed away and never got here,” Gorden says. “My friend is excited to come to the new building because she’ll have a room of her own. She won’t have to get through the adjustments of a having a new roommate all the time.”

Even with the green light from the Health and Human Services board, these next couple weeks are going to require construction workers to come back and make sure much needed repairs and upgrades to the building.

“There will be a contact with the building authority. They will contact their contractor who will do some work here in the building that needs to be done. Clean up, prepping the building,” Hart says.

As for the future, Randall Johnson hopes if any repairs need to take place, the patients won’t be impacted.

“Hopefully the residents are going to come here, they’re going to be safe and hopefully if they do have to replace the roof that they can stay here and still do the roof in sessions,” Johnson says. “That they can live here and stay here and be happy because it’s just a beautiful building that they have for these people.”

The Maples hopes to start moving people in in the next six weeks.