South Routt Medical Center gets request related to expansion granted by Oak Creek

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— The South Routt Medical Center’s plans to expand got some help Thursday night from the Oak Creek Town Board.

The medical center wants to offer more health services in South Routt, but in looking into the options for renovating its current building, it found that its west side was slightly in the town’s right-of-way for Lincoln Avenue. Not only could the center not use that space, its ability to find grant funding for an expansion was put in peril by the building’s encroachment.

The center brought the issue to the Planning Commission along with a request that Oak Creek vacate its right-of-way. Although planning commissioners expressed some concerns with the details of vacating the right-of-way, they moved to recommend the action to the Town Board.

The Town Board took the Planning Commission’s concerns into account as well as the center’s attempts to address them and unanimously approved the plan to vacate the land with some conditions.

The boundary of the area to be vacated was altered at the request of Ken Rossi, who owns the parcel that borders the right-of-way on its west side. The area was expanded north to Rossi’s property line, excepting any area of Colorado Highway 131.

The center must formalize an agreement with Rossi about how the vacated land will be distributed before the ordinance finalizing the action will be passed. Rossi said he has agreed, in principle, to donate any land he gains back to the center as a tax-deductible donation. The surveying and appraisal will be done at the center’s cost.

“My goal is to make sure the medical center stays in Oak Creek,” Rossi said. “I think doing this is a step in that direction.”

Oak Creek also will retain an easement for utilities along the south border of the center’s property.

South Routt Medical Center board president Ann Trout said the organization wants to have the vacation of the right-of-way finalized before Dec. 1, when deadlines come due for Colorado Department of Local Affairs grants. The center also would like to pursue Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Our plans for expansion are really tied to granting,” Trout said, and getting the right-of-way issue resolved is an essential step toward completing grant applications.

“We’ve selected a design, and the schematic phase is complete,” Trout said about the center’s progress on the expansion. “The design and development phase we’re a little bit into, but we have to get some more information.”

“The board of directors of the medical center was really pleased with how smoothly the vacation process went with the town of Oak Creek,” she said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

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