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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2005

Firehouse That Doesn't Fall Down; A Clinic That Doesn't Close Down
BY People

The new Firehouse and Coastal Health Alliance Clinic in Bolinas are in the last stages of development before construction starts. But there’s a problem. Funding for the $5.5 million project is $1.7 million short.
The plan has been five years in the making and addresses two critical shortcomings in the community. The medical clinic, part of Coastal Health Alliance in West Marin, has grown out of its cramped quarters on Wharf Road; and the current firehouse could well collapse in an earthquake.
Originally, the scheme only involved a new firehouse to the tune of $2.3 million. But then the Bolinas Fire Board joined with the Coastal Health Alliance Board to do a joint project. Clinic costs have added $1.3 million to the $2.3 firehouse. Original cost estimates didn’t include site development, and computers. And then there are increased costs for materials and labor over the five year development period.
Fundraising has included passing a successful bond measure for the firehouse which will repay a $1.75 million loan; state, federal and foundation grants including the Tides Foundation, Five Bridges Foundation the Jennifer Altman Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, and private bequests from the community.
An additional partner in the project is Mesa Park whose land surrounds the firehouse-clinic site.
Other grants are being sought from the Marin Community Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.
Locals and weekenders who have not yet been tapped to give to the project will also be a target in a new round of fundraising.
Marin Coastal Alliance Board President David Bunnett, observes, “Three hundred people who haven’t been approached —weekenders and others, will be approached in the next phase. The strongest selling point for these and other ‘elsewhere’ people is headquartering paramedics in Bolinas.
With this huge emphasis on services in new facilities in Bolinas, plans are to keep the Stinson Beach medical clinic open too. “Stinson will not be collapsed as long as it can justify itself with use. We wouldn’t want to disturb the special relationships between Stinson practitioners and clients,” Bunnett said.
Kim Bender who has served as the projects chief of fundraising, said, “We feel confident we can raise the $1.7 million and get bridge loans to get us through while we continue to raise money.”
Both Bender and Bunnett gave high praise to Supervisor Steve Kinsey for his support and help with the ambitious undertaking.

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