Family Care Network project delayed five months

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A purchase agreement for a proposed Family Care Network (FCN) clinic has been delayed until early summer, after the feasibility period was extended from December 31 to May 28. The deal’s closing is required no later than one month after the feasibility period.

Blaine City Council unanimously voted to extend the feasibility period by nearly six months in an amendment to the purchase and sale agreement during its January 11 meeting. Dr. Rodney Anderson, FCN president and CEO, cited the company’s need to focus on Covid-19 vaccination distributions before starting the Blaine clinic.

“We hope over the course of the next couple months to have made a strong in-roads into vaccinating the community and would expect a number of months down the road to have a lot of clarity on how that’s going to wrap up,” Anderson said during the council meeting. FCN has 12 locations in Whatcom County and three in Skagit County, according to its website.

City council previously voted to extend the feasibility period during its July 27 meeting until December 31. Once finalized, FCN will acquire about 2.5 acres of land on the city of Blaine’s Gateway development, near the old airport.

Anderson acknowledged the extension was for time, not for a feasibility study, and the clinic had a contractor ready to break ground half a year ago. If it weren’t for Covid-19, he said two-thirds of the clinic would be built by now.

“I’m still very excited about the possibility and feel a strong need to have medical services present in Blaine to provide care to the community,” Anderson said, adding Blaine is the largest community in the county without a FCN clinic.

Blaine’s only clinic, Bay Medical Clinic, closed at the end of April. This has left Blaine without a clinic in town during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The request is for a few more months and then we hope to have this thing closed and we’re breaking ground and ready to go from there,” Anderson said.

Councilmember Garth Baldwin voiced frustration with the lengthy process during the meeting and said community members eagerly awaited the new clinic.

“Our constituents would love to see a medical facility in our neighborhood,” Baldwin said. “I think we’d all welcome Family Care Network.”

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