Memorial Hospital board unveils site costs

Developing the free property comes with the highest price tag and the property with the highest price landed in the middle of the pack.

But numbers aren't everything.

Members of the community-based hospital site selection committee met Monday night to evaluate preliminary site acquisition costs, but several brought the group back to its primary task: Consider all factors, not just the cost.

And even the cost isn't etched in stone.

Todd Reynolds attended the meeting representing the Hammes Company's consultants for The Memorial Hospital. He left Monday's meeting with a laundry list of numbers to confirm, update and flat-out change.

Three sites are under consideration for the construction of a partial replacement hospital. Colorado Northwestern Community College-Craig has offered to give the hospital 15 acres of property west of Moffat County Road 7. The Wilson property, 13.5 acres west of Craig off U.S. Highway 40 near the Columbine Apartments will cost $320,000 to acquire and the Kloos property, off U.S. 40 west of Cook Chevrolet, is for sale for more than double its appraised price.

Randy Kloos is asking $2 million for the 20-acre parcel or $1.7 million if the hospital only wants 15 acres. The property was appraised at $865,000.

But the cost to acquire the property is only the first consideration. According to Hammes, it will cost $3,550,158 to develop the CNCC property, $3,521,724 to develop the Kloos property and $1,882,066 to develop the Wilson property.

Members of the site selection committee found several problems with those numbers. Committee member and Craig City Councilman Don Jones said more than $1 million could be trimmed from the CNCC site-development costs if it were an "apples-to-apples comparison."

For example, a 32.5 percent contingency was built into the CNCC costs and a 5 percent contingency was built into the costs of the other two properties. That's more than a $600,000 difference.

"Keep in mind this is just a conceptual budget," Reynolds said. "The numbers are going to shift around, and these amounts are going to change."

Hammes Company prepared the cost assessments for the Kloos and Wilson properties and the Steamboat Springs engineering firm Rothberg, Tamburini & Winsor prepared the estimates for developing the CNCC site.

"We've got two different firms using two different philosophies," TMH Trustee Ron Danner said.

The figures do not include the construction of a hospital.

Also, the construction of a retention pond is budgeted for the CNCC property and not for the other properties, and the parking area at the CNCC site is budgeted to be larger than the others.

"The site paving makes a big difference," Jones said. "Sometimes we're comparing apples to grapefruit here."

The site selection committee is tasked with recommending a site to The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees based on several factors, not just cost. Aesthetics, community preference, accessibility and potential benefit also will be considered.

"To me, we're here to pick a site, not pick at the numbers," committee member Neil McCandless said.

"There are three rules to site selection: Location, location, location."

He didn't state a preference but said he wasn't in favor of the Wilson property.

A discussion of the merits of each site was delayed until Thursday, when the committee will meet with a facilitator to identify and rank important issues and characteristics.

That meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn.

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