Hospital District Withdraws Wetland Permit, Still Determined to Find Future Home for Health Care
After a process spanning more than 18 months, the Telluride Hospital District, upon consultation with the Town of Mountain Village, has withdrawn its wetlands permit application to the United States Army Corps of Engineers and will begin anew the search for a future home for the region's healthcare.
If granted, the permit would have allowed the hospital district to impact and mitigate 0.44 acres of wetlands in Mountain Village for a new medical facility to replace the Telluride Regional Medical Center.
In August, the Army Corps mandated extensive additional requirements of the hospital district to continue with the application. The hospital district’s request for an extension to comply was declined and the district was unable to fully address the extent of the requests by the October 15 deadline.
“These requirements would be costly and time consuming with no assurance that all of Army Corps’ informational needs would be fulfilled,” said Telluride Regional Medical Center CEO John Gardner.
“Consequently, the board of the Telluride Hospital District, in consultation with the Mountain Village officials, has decided to end the application process.”
By withdrawing the application the hospital district will transfer the parcel—which was conveyed to the hospital district at no cost in January 2015—back to the Town of Mountain Village, per the requirements of the original purchase agreement.
Mountain Village Mayor, Dan Jansen stated, “Mountain Village became involved in the process to help accelerate the creation of a much needed new medical center for the entire region, in a fiscally responsible way, by offering its assets to the community to foster the health and well-being of our citizens. We'll continue to support the hospital district in its pursuit of this critical community asset.”
Telluride Hospital District Chairman, Richard Betts said, “Our board is most appreciative of the Mountain Village community and government. Their support of our plans and the generous offer of the land would have significantly reduced the cost of our project.”
Gardner contends the goal of the hospital district remains the same: secure a building site for the new facility to serve the growing needs of the community. And likewise, the criteria the hospital district seeks for the future home of a medical center remains unchanged.
“We’re continuing the search for a site that is accessible for patients, ambulance and helicopter; suitable for current and projected needs; available for future expansion; financially feasible with funding mechanisms; and with a minimal environmental impact,” said Gardner.
“We appreciate the support and patience of the community as we continue the serious work of ensuring the future of health care for tomorrow and fifty years into the future," Betts said.