New health center plan draws criticism

2011-05-02T23:00:00Z 2011-05-03T00:05:08Z New health center plan draws criticism

By JOE O’SULLIVAN

Casper Star-Tribune‌

The Billings Gazette

CASPER, Wyo. — A pair of Casper City Council members has week expressed skepticism about a proposed Community Health Center on the city’s east side, but the the center’s director said those fears were overblown.

The discussion comes before the Casper Planning and Zoning Commission holds a special public hearing on May 12 to discuss the center’s proposal.

Community Health Center of Central Wyoming Inc. wants to build a new health center to update its facilities and reduce costs. To be located at 5000 Blackmore Road, it will be built on vacant land west of the Ridge at Blackmore Apartments.

But Mayor Paul Bertoglio said he liked neither the site nor its layout.

“It is a poor location with a poor site plan, and that’s being nice to it,” Bertoglio said.

To which Councilman Maury Daubin, who said he has received calls opposing the project, replied: “Amen.”

Bertoglio said the design would force more cars onto Blackmore Road in an area that is already anticipating traffic problems from increased development.

“They don’t have any roads; they dump everything out onto Blackmore,” he said.

That position is supported by a recent traffic study that the city commissioned, he added.

But Dan Reiner, chief executive officer of the center, said those fears are overblown.

“When we look at Blackmore Road, we are a fairly insignificant cog,” Reiner said, adding that most of the center’s traffic will come between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Reiner added that the site design will be changed to relieve city staff’s concerns regarding the access road across from Donegal Street.

“That’s what we’re going to try to do,” Reiner said. “I want to have orderly flow.”

The proposal calls for a building of 50,000 square feet split between two stories. City staff has raised concerns about the site’s entrances on Blackmore Road, one of which is not lined up with Donegal Street, which also opens onto Blackmore Road.

“The offset causes dangerous traffic conflicts because it is not located an adequate distance away from the Blackmore Road intersection,” a city staff memo stated.

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