Log In

Reset Password

Cortez council approves hospital plan, City Hall contract

Southwest Memorial expansion includes new patient wing, office building

Cortez City Council members on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a site plan for the Southwest Memorial Hospital expansion project.

The expansion includes a 25,000-square-foot patient addition, a 25,000-square-foot medical office building and an 8,000-square-foot emergency room addition, according to city documents.

The existing hospital is about 100,000 square feet, and the expansions will bring it to just over 164,000 square feet. The hospital campus at 1131 N. Mildred Road is about 16 acres, and just over half that will be changed during construction.

The emergency room expansion and patient wing will be added to the existing building, extending north from the current hospital site, according to project documents. The office building will be added on the south side of the hospital campus.

Ralph Wagner, owner’s representative for the hospital project, said he expects some construction on the project to start in late summer or early fall. However, the construction will continue for a number of years, he said.

Wagner said the public will be pleased with the hospital renovations.

“I’m sure the community will be very proud of it and happy with the result,” he said.

The construction is part of a $14.2 million capital improvement project at the hospital. In November, county voters approved the hospital district’s request for a limited sales and use tax by a 3-2 margin to fund renovations for the 40-year-old medical facility.

The 0.4 percent tax – 4 cents per every $10 – would be applied to money spent in Montezuma County but would exclude certain items such as most food purchased in grocery stores, prescription drugs, residential utilities and nonlicensed farm equipment. Construction was expected to start in March.

The project also includes a 5,400-square-foot ambulance bay and 4,800-square-foot operations facility, which will be built on the hospital campus northwest of the hospital’s helipad. Council members approved a site development plan for that phase of the project in March. Also Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance vacating a 40-foot easement near the ambulance bay to make way for construction.

Weeminuche wins $2.5M City Hall contract

The council on Tuesday awarded a $2.5 million contract to Weeminuche Construction Authority for remodeling the former Cortez Journal building at 123 N. Roger Smith Ave., to become the new location for City Hall. The city paid $2.9 million for the building in December. City Manager Shane Hale said in December that a $2 million Department of Local Affairs grant will help fund the renovation cost, which then totaled $2.3 million.

Mayor authorized to sign $1M grant

The council also authorized Sheek to sign a grant agreement with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the Cortez Fiber Expansion Project’s second phase. DOLA awarded the city a $1 million energy and mineral impact fund grant for the project.

Council OKs $2.5M self-insurance contract

Council also approved a $2.5 million contract with Summit for the city’s self-insurance, which is renewed on June 1 each year. The contract is 18 percent higher than the current year, with an increase of 5 percent for administrative fees and a 22 percent increase for claims,

Other council actions

Also Tuesday, the council voted to adopt the city’s hazard mitigation plan. The council also approved the renewal of a 3.2 percent liquor license for Handy Mart South and a hotel and restaurant liquor license for Stonefish Sushi.

The council also approved a special events permit for a Business After Hours event to take place June 9 at Kokopelli Bike and Board.

Medicine Man CEO Sherry Garcia also spoke before council, asking them to consider extending hours of operation for retail marijuana shops. Currently, dispensaries are required to close at 7 p.m., but Garcia said allowing stores to be open until at least 9 p.m. would be helpful as the summer tourist season is beginning. City Manager Shane Hale said the council is already investigating whether or not to allow marijuana grow operations in the industrial park, which they planned to discuss at the council’s next workshop session at the end of June. Hale said they would consider Garcia’s proposal at the workshop, as well.


Feb 3, 2017
Stonefish Sushi chef brings rare skills to Cortez table