Platte Valley Medical Center presents plans for Fort Lupton health center

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By Jeremy Johnson

FORT LUPTON — A busy end-of-the-year agenda for Fort Lupton city council’s Dec. 15 meeting included a presentation of final site plans for a new health center that will be home to two primary care physicians.

Rounding out a four-page agenda that included purchases for the city’s golf course and police and planning departments, zoning requests, a resignation, a reappointment and a water sales tax agreement, was a presentation on a proposed health care facility located in the Safeway plaza and slated to open in late 2015.

Representatives from the Platte Valley Medical Center and Studio DH Architecture of Golden at the Dec. 15 meeting offered council a comprehensive look at the plans for the new 9,750-square-foot facility, to be located in the northeast corner of the Safeway plaza east of Rollie Avenue.

Justin Fries, of Studio DH, said Platte Valley Medical Center, working under the auspices of Brighton Community Hospital Association, has proposed a building to house a medical clinic that would take up about half the space with “potential for additional office and retail tenants.” Fries said the design for the clinic is similar to another Platte Valley clinic project in Reunion that was drawn up by Studio DH.

The one-story building will consist of two-tone stucco and aluminum storefront windows with additional metal awning canopies to display signage for the different building tenants. 

Platte Valley Medical Center president and CEO John Hicks later added that they have secured to primary care physicians to start immediately upon opening in 2015 and said those physician hours will be extended according to demand. Hicks said they are still evaluating the details of potential urgent care and occupational medicine options. Though no decisions have been made to date, Hicks said the new facility will have the capacity to house both should the necessity for them be determined.

“In our review, we saw a need for additional physicians … and we had been asked to look at urgent care,” he said. “We’re currently evaluating that and have plans for it in the (site plan). We’re also evaluating occupational medicine but, for sure, we have two primary care physicians who have already been recruited.”

Fries said the only remaining question marks in regard to the site plan have to do with city landscaping requirements to the east side of the building, which divides the commercial space from a residential area further east on Route 52. Fries said those discrepancies are mostly due to a drainage ditch and power lines running along the east easement, and said his company is currently working the details out with Xcel Energy.

“There’s still some resolution to be had on the landscaping plan, but everything seems to be moving forward with that,” he said.

While the current landscaping plan includes planting pine trees as light blockers for residents to the east, Fries assured council that lighting plans for the new facility are non-intrusive.

Councilwoman Zo Hubbard asked if the new facility, in addition to a proposed hotel on the north side of Route 52, could create any traffic concerns. Planner Alyssa Knutson said CDOT has not expressed any concerns in that matter.

Councilman Bob McWilliams asked Hicks when Platte Valley planned on opening up for business in Fort Lupton, to which Hicks gave an “October to December” 2015 timeline.

“Welcome to town,” added Mayor Tommy Holton.

County commissioners honored at council

Council took a moment from its proceedings to proclaim Dec. 15 as Doug Rademacher and William Garcia Day in Fort Lupton.

In a prepared proclamation read by Hubbard, the city praised the outgoing commissioners — who began serving together in 2007 — for what council called “instrumental” efforts that provided countywide impact, including a remodeling of county courts; aiding in construction of a new county social service center and community corrections facility; assisting in the newest phase of the county jail; aiding the county in its 150th anniversary celebration in 2011; and their tireless efforts in 2013 and 2014 in helping the county recover from the September 2013 floods.

“(They) have achieved these goals by putting their best foot forward and keeping their eye on the prize,” Hubbard read. “In appreciation of their dedication and contribution to local government … we extend our since gratitude and hereby proclaim Dec. 15 as Bill Garcia and Doug Rademacher day in the City of Fort Lupton.”

Police, planning department upgrades

Fort Lupton Police Chief Ken Poncelow took the lead in terms of the biggest Christmas wish list, though the cost of half of the chief’s requests will be offset by grants provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Poncelow came before the board with two requests regarding previously budgeted needs within the department. Council approved both the request for more than $53,000 to outfit three new patrol vehicles, as well the request for about $5,200 for ammunition needed for upcoming training events.

Poncelow said, with the former approval, Fort Lupton’s vehicles will be some of the best outfitted in the county. 

Meanwhile, Poncelow said a request to pursue grants to fund new speed guns could make Fort Lupton one of the safer communities in the county, too. Poncelow said the Lidar laser devices being offered through the CDOT grant could help reduce traffic accidents, the majority of which Poncelow said are caused by “following too closely.”

“This is a device that measures distance between cars and the speed that they’re going,” he said. “Nineteen percent of crashes that happen in Fort Lupton are caused by people following too close, and the majority of all crashes on Highway 85 are the result of following too close. This will allow us to stop some of that and keep cars farther apart, further reducing the number of crashes.”

Another grant request from Poncelow would fund the “Every Fifteen Minutes” program held at the Fort Lupton High School in April. That program promotes awareness of the dangers of drunk and drugged driving during prom season through mock crashes and in-school campaigning.

“(The program) has been very successful in the county for the past 10 or 15 years,” Poncelow said. “I think that sounds like a good addition for the schools,” Holton added.

Requests from the planning department for new and updated software and a new plotter were also unanimously approved, despite the good-natured ribbing of Hubbard who lamented the end-of-year expenditures.

Other business

• Council also approved an eight-piece consent agenda that included the approval of a liquor license renewal for Station Three Tavern, renewed contracts with contractors and collection agencies working on behalf of the city, the reappointment of Bruce Davis to the planning commission and the resignation of Ward 1 councilman Kevin Schwickrath.

• As part of the consent agenda, council also approved excluding uncompensated elected and appointed officials from the city’s workers compensation policy in favor of the Volunteer Accident Medical Plan.