Paint job will be left to mellow over winter | RecordCourier.com

Paint job will be left to mellow over winter

by Linda Hiller

Hoping the passage of time will mellow the hotly-debated colors of the Minden Medical Center as well as public opinion regarding the bright hues, the Carson Valley Health Center Liaison Board has opted to revisit the paint job next spring.

Allen Biaggi, the liaison board chair, said the reason for postponing the repainting of the center is partially based on the fact that negative calls have diminished and positive comments have increased.

“Everyone on our board received negative calls in the beginning,” Biaggi said. “Lately, we are getting more positive calls and less negative calls.”

Biaggi said he thought the reasons for the drop in negative calls are twofold.

“One – I think people are getting used to it, and two – as the landscaping and roads are going it, it is bringing it all together,” he said. “We’ve decided to leave it and allow it to winter over – letting the paint set and weather. We’ll revisit it in the springtime and see if all or a portion of the building needs to be painted over at that time.”

Biaggi said that by spring the building will be up and running, giving everyone a better look at the final product.

“This doesn’t mean we aren’t going to repaint,” he said. “We want to be good neighbors and we will listen to the people if they still don’t like the colors.”

At the Aug. 8 meeting of the Minden Town Board, members expressed their concerns about the number of phone calls they had received regarding the attention-getting peach, plum, gray and blue color scheme.

At an Aug. 19 meeting, liaison board members and hospital officials agreed to re-paint the complex at the hospital’s expense, an estimated $15,000.

Monday, Aug. 31, the liaison board held a follow-up meeting, inviting Minden Town Board members and Douglas County Commissioners to tour the facility and discuss the issue further, but no one from either group attended.

“We had a follow-up meeting Monday, and invited the Minden Town Board and the county commissioners, but no one showed up,” Biaggi said. “We had a walk-around scheduled for 6:30 p.m. that night and a meeting at 7 p.m., but no one came. We were surprised.”

Biaggi said the meeting, which complied with open meeting laws, was also open to the public. In spite of the fact that notices were posted at several locations in Minden, Gardnerville and Carson City, no representative from the general public attended Monday evening, although one letter supporting the current color scheme was received.

“We can only do what we can do as far as getting people to attend meetings,” Biaggi said. “We did have a quorum of board members and someone from the hospital board and an architect representative.”

Minden Town Board Chairman Ray Wilson, who was out of town at the time of Monday’s meeting, said he wasn’t sure why the other four board members hadn’t attended.

“I did initially receive a number of negative calls about the colors – we all did,” Wilson said. “If we hadn’t gotten so many complaints from our citizenry, which is who we are there to represent, we wouldn’t have made an issue of the colors.”

Wilson said that the colors seen now on the Minden Medical Center are more intense than the pastel colors initially approved by the town board, but he hastened to add that he wouldn’t want to be a part of selecting the new colors if it does get changed.

“I will say that as a businessman, if I had a hospital with competition down the street, I wouldn’t want to lose patients because of the color of my building,” he added. “We will represent whatever the citizens want, though.”

The Minden Medical Center, an offshoot of Carson-Tahoe Hospital, is located on Highway 395 at the north end of Minden and will have a grand opening Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. As early as the end of this month, tenants will be moving in, Biaggi said. The complex will house doctors offices, a public meeting room, restaurant and an urgent care facility.

The Carson Valley Medical Center, a 24-hour urgent care facility open since 1981 and located at 1107 Highway 395, will be relocating to the Minden Medical Center Oct. 12, and renamed as Minden Emergency/Urgent Care, said Michelle Tibma, Carson-Tahoe Hospital marketing and public relations officer.

When spring comes, Biaggi, who grew up in the Carson Valley and graduated from Douglas High School in 1976, said the liaison advisory board would be re-examining the color scheme and perhaps taking a poll of residents on their final opinions.

“People are proud of the community down there,” Biaggi said from his state EPA office in Carson City. “We are willing to do what it takes to be a good neighbor in Carson Valley.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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