Granby Middle Park Medical Center on rodeo grounds not a done deal
November 11, 2008
The future Middle Park Medical Center may not be built on Grand County property along with the Flying Hills Arena and other equestrian groups, despite a perceived swerve in that direction. Nothing is happening to the arena, nothing, said Medical Center Project Manager Todd Ficken of F & D International. No one has said its going away.A probe into whether equestrian groups would see it as a benefit relocating their rodeo arena to nearby acreage seemed to spiral in the community after a public forum in late September. Some rodeo supporters accused project officials of trying to displace them.Last weekend, a large banner on the side of the Flying Hills Arena beseeched the faithful to Save our Rodeo Grounds.But health and county officials maintain it was never anyones intent to yank the rodeo grounds out from under anyone. The meeting at the town hall was in response to a question that came from a member of the rodeo patrons to our project manager, explained Kremmling Memorial Hospitals Chief Nursing Officer Ellen Parri.The medical campus will be an arm of the hospital district.We simply sought input from the user group to that question. Nothing more or less, she added. We were just seeking community feedback to the question that was brought before us.That meeting posed whether equestrian groups would find it a benefit to have the arena relocated to an adjoining parcel less windy and dusty. Medical Center project officials, who had been approached by a rodeo member with the idea, thought the idea worth exploring since locating the medical campus on rodeo grounds would save in excavation and other infrastructure costs.There still has not been a clear consensus among rodeo groups about whether the idea has appeal, Parri said. If rodeo and equestrian groups did come forward with willingness to pursue, no one within our system wouldnt have that discussion, she said.Meanwhile, Grand Countys original offer 9.7 acres of property neighboring the arena is still in play.The land, seen from Highway 40 behind the Grand Elk Ranch & Club administrative offices (the former Timberline Clinic), is part of 51.44 acres of county property obtained from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by a federal patent in 1984.Project officials pressing timeline has encouraged a move toward a building plan on that 9.7 acres of property, according to Ficken. The timeline and the fact that KMHD (Kremmling Memorial Hospital District) and the Network (Rural Health Network) have been looking at this thing for four to five years weve got to get this going, he said. The community of Grand County has strongly voiced as a whole that we need this facility, he said.Due to concerns continuing to surface in the equestrian community about the arena, county commissioners put in writing Tuesday its perspective in hopes to squelch rumors. It is not now, or never was, the intention of the Board of County Commissioners to eliminate the Flying Heels Arena or the use of that arena by any member or group of the public, commissioners stated.Its hoped construction of the $22 million medical facility launches by next spring, with vertical progress by mid-2009, according to Ficken.The center is expected to boost the local economy, create jobs, and expand health care in the county to meet the growing needs of the community, Ficken said. Not just the need for more health care as the community expands, but the growing need of more health care for the people who already live here.The Middle Park Medical Campus is entering the public hearing process with a planning and zoning request to the Grand County planning commission at 6:30 tonight (Nov. 12). According to Grand Countys planning department, the request is to rezone the 9.7 acres zoned accommodations to business to allow the medical-campus public use. Project officials are also seeking an outright exemption of the parcel. If approved, the request is then taken to the Board of County Commissioners. Upon completion of Bureau of Land Management processes, ultimately, the limited parcel could transfer from Grand County to the Kremmling Memorial District, according to the county planners. Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.