By Buffy Calvert
The major item before the Town Planning Board on February 13th was the construction of a Bassett Health Care doctor’s office and medical clinic on the property on Lower Main Street north of Ballantine Park owned by Shayne Moshier of RoMo Machine. The proposal would be to subdivide the lot, separating the Cabin Hill property from the flat below the stream. O’Connor Hospital has spent a year looking at lots in Andes suitable for this facility and has concluded that this is the only property that meets their requirements. The former Town Hall with the available land across Route 28 proved too small.
Frank Winkler, Planning Board Chair, opened the discussion by stating, “It is unanimous that this facility is needed. The issue before us is whether the proposed site is appropriate.” Dan Ayers, O’Connor Hospital Medical Director, introduced his colleagues present and gave an overview of what they hope to do. In sum, O’Connor would construct and fit out the 30’ x 60’ building. A parking area behind the clinic would accommodate 16 cars.
Bassett would run it with one doctor and a Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner and support staff. They expect to serve about 40 patients a day, Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm.
Although this was a preliminary exploration and not a Public Hearing, a wide-ranging discussion ensued. Several neighbors were present or had submitted letters raising questions as to potential flooding, noise, security lights, traffic, etc. O’Connor furnished maps and a sketch of the building. It would sit along the front of the site, according to them, above the floodplain and raised 5 feet with an open crawl space beneath to allow free flow of any rising water. The parking area would be lighted on winter twilights, but not at night. Traffic was estimated at 5 cars an hour.
The Board pressed the issue of flooding and will require a long-form SEQRA to document the environmental effects of the proposed building. Board member Art Reed emphasized that the building should be in keeping with the