CRMC petitions against truck stop construction
Cameron Regional Medical Center will take their fight to prevent construction of the recently announced Love’s Travel Plaza and Country Store to the courts following a recently file petition.
Only days after officials associated with the truck stop broke ground on the project, sitting members of the Cameron City Council, the Cameron Planning and Zoning Commission and others received notification of the petition last Thursday that prompted a special meeting in order to consult with Cameron City Attorney Padraic Corcoran.
According to the petition filed inside the Clinton County Courthouse in Plattsburg, people in need of emergency medical treatment, time is very literally of the essence and ease of access to hospital facilities is one of the most vital elements of achieving positive health outcomes and reducing the likelihood of adverse outcomes, including death. For example, in trauma patients, the risk of death increases by five percent for every minute that passes between the occurrence of the injury and arrival at the hospital. Likewise, for people experiencing heart attacks, delays of as little as four minutes result in an appreciably higher 30-day mortality rate. Roadway congestion near hospitals thus has a substantial impact on those hospitals’ ability to provide emergency medical services to the community.
Last month, despite an outcry from surrounding business owners, residents and local realtors, the Cameron Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan for the new Love’s Travel Plaza and Country Store. The Commission tabled approval of the plan until in their previous meeting in order to consult with Corcoran after numerous attendees expressed concerns with a potential increase in crime, air pollution and access to the hospital.
“The risk of death in trauma patients increases five percent for every minute that goes by. It doesn’t sound like a lot until it’s you,” said CRMC Attorney Blane Markey, during the July meeting.”
Prior to its final approval, the CRMC staff penned a letter to the Cameron City Council and Commission asking them to consider the impact of Nitrogen Oxide, the byproduct of diesel engine exhaust, on susceptible patients and a long-term impact on nearby residents. According to the CRMC letter, which was included as one of the lawsuit’s exhibits, Nitrogen Oxide exposure causes serious health problems in humans and contributes to a wide range of adverse health outcomes, including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and premature deaths … Children, seniors and patients with existing lunch and heart illnesses are the populations most at risk. These at-risk patients represent an astoundingly significant portion of the patients we treat in our clinics, emergency room, ICU and other departments of the hospital.
The petition further stated, despite ongoing communication with Corcoran, the city attorney advised the aforementioned issues did not violate Cameron zoning laws. The Commission then approved the plan 4-1 with Commissioner Tom Hamlet voting no.