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Despite Traffic Woes Health Center Site Plan Approved

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

The site plan for a new building for the Community Health Center of Central Wyoming was approved Tuesday evening, but not until City Council got an ear full on traffic woes in the area.

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Some Casper east side residents don’t like the traffic that comes with growth.  A new location for the Community Health Center just might be the  lightening rod that draws attention to the problem.

It played out at Tuesday’s city council meeting. The health center’s site plan off of Blackmore road was approved, on a 8-1 vote, but one area resident, Ken Katz says even with the the 12 million dollar federally funded project’s hurried deadline, he believes residents could have been notified earlier…

“This deadline was known back in October, but nobody wanted to talk to the neighbors. It’s just easier not to talk to us and that process is wrong. That’s basically empowering developers over the concerns of neighbors.”

The majority of those speaking against the site plan’s approval want more done about traffic on the impacted roads. The area will soon have a large apartment complex and shopping center adding to the congestion.

Randy Hall, speaking for the developer, guaranteed a new road to the north, providing additional access, will be in place by opening of the facility. The Chief Medical Officer at Wyoming Medical Center, Carol Solie, speaking in support, offered another angle on traffic.

“The traffic concern that could rise if the Community Health Center’s plan is undermined, is a traffic concern involving the emergency room at Wyoming Medical Center.”

Solie refers to the patients who, she believes,  would have found themselves using the hospital’s emergency room if the health center’s project had fallen through leaving some low income patients  with no where else to go.

However, with the site plan approved that presumably won’t be the case.  Ground breaking for the new building is anticipated for July with completion by fall of 2012.

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