Helipad plan moves to next phase

GRANGEVILLE – Following months of discussion amongst themselves and with community members and other organizations, Syringa Hospital’s board of trustees made its first official action concerning a helipad on Grangeville’s Main Street.

The board voted unanimously at its regular monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 23, to request a conditional use permit from the Grangeville City Council. This follows a Feb. 11 “neighborhood” meeting hosted by Syringa.

“We invited all property owners within a 600-foot radius to attend a meeting regarding the proposed helipad,” explained Syringa CEO Joe Cladouhos. “Out of 63 contacted, five property owners showed up.”

Board chair Dave Green and trustee Twila Hornbeck both attended the meeting.

“One couple had a lot of good questions which took up the better part of an hour,” Hornbeck said. “They got their questions answered and in the end support the idea of the helipad.”

Cladouhos said there were some questions they are still working on answering including the insurance for any possible damage caused by a landing and the effect of the helipad on surrounding property values.

“The one couple was interested in seeing the rotor wash when a helicopter lands,” Green said. “They have been invited to view a landing.”

EMT Bill Spencer said a landing will be available for viewing at the EMS Spring Fling March 7-8 in Grangeville.

Once the application for the conditional use permit is submitted, the matter will go to the planning and zoning committee. At that time the committee would not only survey residents within 300 feet of the planned helipad, but would also hold a public meeting regarding the proposal, Cladouhos said. Following this the committee would submit a recommendation to the council which would make a final determination.

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