Letter to the Editor: PMC replies to concerns

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Dear Editor:
The Pioneers Board of Directors would like to reply to Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Morris’ letter to the Editor last week. Pioneers feels that if Mr. and Mrs. Morris have questions about the proposed medical center site, so might others. And it is best to continually share the facts behind the decisions of the Pioneers Medical Center board.
The Meeker Terrace property, adjacent to the Meeker airport, was chosen as the future home to Pioneers Medical Center, Meeker Family Health Center and the Walbridge Memorial Wing. It was selected for the following reasons:
1. It is the most feasible and affordable site of the various site locations the board reviewed. (Complete cost for utilities, roads, telecomm, excavation and actual building were part of the consideration.)
2. The soil testing results are strong with stable, low-expansive soils, which helps keep excavation costs manageable.
3. The site has almost 40 buildable acres. A facility of PMC’s nature needs a minimum of 20 buildable acres.
4. The site is within two miles of downtown.
5. The site allows for future expansion opportunities and ample parking.
The board followed a methodical process. They first completed an assessment on the existing facility and developed the estimated costs for a new facility. Then they conducted a financial feasibility study. Pioneers Medical Center will be able to complete the project on the existing revenue sources. Next, the board entered into the site selection process. In this process they established criteria for a site. They tried to identify a variety of potential locations and then measure each site against the criteria. The top two sites were then evaluated based on land cost, site development costs, total buildable acres and soils test results.
It is also important to note that Pioneers will work with the Town of Meeker, Meeker Sanitation District and any other appropriate organizations, to design the utility infrastructure. We hope that Pioneers can partner with other area entities to design and implement the full utility needs for the new medical facility, Curtis Creek Industrial Park, and future economic growth in this area. We have identified the costs for the hospital portion of the utilities and roads and are prepared to contribute that to the bigger project in order to strengthen our entire community and its economic base.
We recognize that residents may have questions throughout this process. Please call myself, Ken Harman, or any of the Pioneers board members (Paul Sheridan, Diane Dunham, Todd Young, Mike Hoke, Terry Goedert, Steve Parr and Richard Ellsworth).
Ken Harman
Pioneers CEO