Mercy set to open Bayfield clinic

Town thanks retiring trustees

Departing Bayfield Town Board Trustees Tom Au, left, and Debbi Renfro share a laugh as they attend their last board meeting Tuesday. Town Treasurer Erin Dunavant made the going-away cake in their honor. Enlargephoto

Photo by Melanie Brubaker Mazur

Departing Bayfield Town Board Trustees Tom Au, left, and Debbi Renfro share a laugh as they attend their last board meeting Tuesday. Town Treasurer Erin Dunavant made the going-away cake in their honor.

Mercy Medical Center is continuing construction on its Bayfield clinic and is set to be open three days a week.

"We're excited about the opportunity to be here," said Will McConnell, a representative from Mercy and its parent corporation, Centura Health.

McConnell and several hospital staffers attended Tuesday's meeting of the Bayfield Town Board. If the demand is there, the clinic could expand to being open four or five days a week, McConnell said. Staffing will include a medical doctor and physician's assistant.

Bayfield appreciates having the clinic come to town, Mayor Rick Smith told the clinic contingent.

"We've really been lacking on the medical side," Smith added.

The clinic will occupy around 3,200 square feet in the Bayfield Center Plaza on Wolverine Drive. It will have five exam rooms and one room for procedures.

After the presentation, the board thanked Debbi Renfro and Tom Au for their service as town board trustees. Renfro has been on the board since 2008, Au since 2006. Renfro said it has been a pleasure serving the people of the town.

Town Clerk Kathy Cathcart swore in returning trustee Michelle Sower and new trustees James Sanders and Matthew Salka. They were elected to their seats in municipal elections on April 1. The new trustees will be asked to tour town facilities and attend a Colorado Municipal League conference in June. There also will be a board workshop during the next month.

In other business, the board approved a $10,923 contract with Goff Engineering to work on drainage issues at Sunrise Estates in Bayfield. Flooding has been an issue in the subdivision since its inception.

Town Manager Chris LaMay said the town is hosting a farewell reception for former town attorney Dirk Nelson, who has left his position to be city attorney in Durango. The reception will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at Bottom Shelf Brewery. Mayor Smith introduced Nelson's replacement , Jeff Robbins, who has worked as an attorney in Durango and for La Plata County.

Roger Zalneratis of the La Plata Economic Development Alliance will start working in Bayfield once a month start working on issues in this end of the county. He will be at town hall this Monday, LaMay said.

The worn "Welcome to Downtown Bayfield" sign in Joe Stephenson Park is being replaced with a new one in about two weeks, reported Ron Saba, director of public works.

Trustee Michelle Nelson asked about a letter to the editor in last week's edition of the Times criticizing the fact that two absentee ballots were not sent to military members from Bayfield who requested them. The letter also said a recent acquisition by the town of surplus Department of Defense equipment would cost tens of thousands of dollars for trucks that don't run.

LaMay said town staff researched the ballot issue and they could not find a voicemail or message requesting the absentee ballots. The heavy equipment was obtained at no cost, and transporting it here cost between $5,000 and $6,000, LaMay said. Saba said he and his staff worked on one truck for a few hours to get an engine running, and the truck works now.