Memorial Hospital acquires land for new facility
Despite newspaper advertisement, many residents say they weren't pressured into selling their property
November 5, 2001
By JOSH NICHOLS
Daily Press writer
With 14 of 18 properties already purchased, The Memorial Hospital has acquired enough land to accommodate its proposed plans for a new hospital.
In a recent advertisement in the Craig Daily Press paid for by concerned local citizens, an assertion was made that, “many long-time Craig residents have been displaced from their homes through the aggressive property acquisition of the Hospital Board.”
Rose Hutton and her husband Les recently sold their home at 720 Russell St. as part of the hospital’s effort to acquire the land. But, Rose Hutton stresses that she and her husband were not aggressively pressured to sell their home.
“I haven’t heard of anyone who is really angry,” she said. “And this goes for those who didn’t sell also. A few people don’t want to sell, and the hospital is not approaching them.”
The process of deciding whether to sell began last spring, Hutton said, when she and her husband attended a meeting in regard to the hospital’s interest in buying their property.
“We said, let’s get an appraisal and see what we want to do,” she said.
They liked the price that they were offered, and they sold.
“I think everyone got a fair price for their property,” she said. “I haven’t heard anyone complain.”
Hutton disagreed with the assertion that people are being forced to move, because if they would have made an effort, they could have stayed in their homes.
“I don’t know anyone that was forced out,” she said. “I think if everyone in the neighborhood would have gotten together and said we’re not moving, the hospital would have went ahead and done something else.”
Hospital Administrator Randy Phelps said, with exception to the meetings where he presented the idea to the property owners, he has not contacted the people, they have contacted him.
“We had meetings and I told them to get a hold of me if they were interested,” he said. “After the meetings took place, we didn’t contact anyone.”
Wanda Everette, who sold her home at 732 Russell St., agreed with Hutton, and said the hospital was fair in its conduct and offer.
“I found another place I liked and they were more than fair to me with their offer,” she said. “Randy Phelps was very, very nice to me.”
Bill Lyon, who lives at 715 Yampa Ave., has not closed the deal with the hospital on his home yet, but at this point has no complaints.
“It’s OK with us,” he said. “It’s something we thought we could do.”
Calls to several other homeowners whose property was acquired by TMH were not returned.