Letter to the Editor

Spencer Residents weigh in on proposed city street closing

Friday, September 24, 2021

The proposed Spencer Hospital plans looks nice, but it wonít resolve the current problems the hospital has getting specialized doctors as there isnít enough business for these doctors to move their practice to Spencer, when patients can easily be transported by life flight to their locations in Sioux City or Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Living on Grand Avenue I see life flight at least once or more a day!

I have a friend that has been in the Spencer Hospital for several week and tomorrow they are taking him via ambulance to Sioux Falls for tests for the day and bring him back! Spencer Hospital Ambulance Service refused to take him, so they had to get an out of area ambulance to transport!

The reason for the proposed 11th Street closing is so that the Spencer Hospitalís emergency room will be accessible and visible from Grand Avenue!

The Spencer Hospital can accomplish this without closing 11th Street at Grand Avenue by installing a sky walk connecting the Avera Medical Clinic and placing a lighted emergency room sign on the skywalk making it visible from Grand Avenue.

East Second Avenue from East 11th-13th streets is no longer a through street, but Spencer Hospital does not want to build to the east of the current emergency room as they claim that there is too many utilities crossing it, yet East 11th Street not only has utilities but also water and sewer lines that will need to be dealt with!

Spencer Hospital doesnít want to build to the North of the emergency room as the helipad is located there! Yet they could place the helipad in the very same location on top of the new emergency room roof and deal with ice and snow accumulation with a heated helipad!

Building to the north and east sides of the current emergency room would provide more space for the new emergency room than the current proposed plan!

With the Spencer Hospital being land locked, they need to start building up and not outward!

There are currently only three east/west streets that run all the way through the city from east to west: 18th, 11th and Fourth streets.

In closing of the intersection at 11th Street and Grand Avenue, the Spencer Hospital will make the intersection of 10th Street and Grand Avenue a more dangerous intersection then what it already is, not only for the southbound traffic, but pedestrians crossing 10th Street and Grand Avenue!

At 10th Street, drivers southbound, turning left donít seem to be able to get totally off Highway 71/18 aka Grand Avenue and there are countless times in the day that vehicleís south bound, honk, swear and cuss because they cannot get over to the right lane and almost rear end the turning vehicles! The speed limit is 35, but most hours of everyday, the traffic is going 45-50 mph!

The Hospital has already closed 12th Street for the main entrance, East First Avenue between 11th-12th streets and East Second Avenue between east 11th-13th streets. How many more streets will be closed, and starter homes destroyed to expand the current hospital? Isnít it time for the hospital to start building upward and not outward, along with building parking ramps?