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Hotchkiss council weighs variances for DCMH clinic

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Photo by Eric Goold Montrose architect Tom Chamberlain presents the plans for the new Hotchkiss health clinic to be built by Delta County Memorial Hospital.

The Hotchkiss Town Council got a look at the medical clinic coming to town at its monthly meeting last Thursday night at Hotchkiss Town Hall.

Montrose architect Tom Chamberlain represented his client, Delta County Memorial Hospital, which had three requests for the council to consider as the process to build a new medical clinic in town continued.

The proposed clinic will be a nearly 10,000 square foot facility located at 230 East Hotchkiss Avenue. Chamberlain asked the council to agree to work under the 2006 International Building Code for the duration of the building process.

Hotchkiss currently uses the 2006 IBC but is in the process of amending the building code to use the 2015 version. Complicating that process is the lack of a building inspector on the town staff.

"The 2006 IBC is perfectly adequate," Chamberlain said. "We would just like to ask the council to give us permission to use the 2006 IBC, so that we can work with confidence with the code in hand."

Chamberlain also asked the council to consider two variances that will be associated with the proposed building. The first is to not include a 1,200-square-foot second-floor storage room in the overall square footage calculation as it relates to required number of parking spaces.

The second is to allow the sign for the facility to be placed in the city's right of way for best visibility.

After discussion and consultation from town attorney Bo Nerlin, the council voted unanimously to provide Chamberlain written agreement that the building process will continue working under the 2006 IBC for the year it takes to design and bid the project and then the year to build it.

"We're hoping to be building this fall, but I could see it getting pushed into next year," Chamberlain said.

The other two items are variance requests that must go through the planning commission, which meets next on July 27.

"We want to get on the docket for the planning commission," Chamberlain said. "These are problems we want to solve long before we go to the bidding process."

Chamberlain provided a brief description of the new clinic, which will have 12 exam rooms and two procedure rooms. Urgent care, medical office visits and small procedures will be provided. Emergencies will still go to Delta.

"It will be a full clinic, big enough to service Hotchkiss and the surrounding area," Chamberlain said. "Crawford and Paonia, the places that are closer to here than to Delta."

As for amending the building code, the council put that off until a building inspector is hired. Mayor Wendall Koontz and staff have been interviewing candidates and hope to hire someone in the next couple of weeks.

The building inspector will be a contract employee hired by staff, not appointed by the council.

In other matters last Thursday night, the council approved the road closure requests for the Farm To Fiddle Festival. All of First Street will be closed Friday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m.

Then half of First Street -- from the alley to Bridge Street -- will be closed Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Public works director Mike Owens said as usual traffic will be diverted down Main Street. The Second Street paving is expected to be completed by the 18th of this month. If for some reason it is not, Owens said highway traffic will be directed up to Orchard Street.

First Street will be barricaded off for the fair parade as well.

"There's already a lot of traffic for the fair," trustee Larry Jakubiak said. "We got a lot of cars going through there."

"The best thing I can say is, we'll try it for here and see how it works," Owens said.

In a busy night, the council voted unanimously to award salary increases for the entire staff, approved two special events liquor licenses, and set the date for the next council meeting on Aug. 18.

That last required the council to vote to empower the town clerk to pay the bills on Aug. 15. The vote was unanimous.

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Business, DCMH, Hotchkiss
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