Word on the street

Enloe neighbors answer their doors— and expansion questions

In recent weeks, two CN&R interns, Michelle Maas and Nargis Nooristani, scoured the streets surrounding Enloe Hospital to see what nearby residents thought of the proposed expansion of the hospital. They found a variety of opinions ranging from support of the project, to disinterest, to disagreeing completely with what Enloe is doing.

Blanca Colon-Simon sees the expansion as an Enloe takeover. “They just keep kind of chewing up this neighborhood,” she said. “Students from one end, the hospital and medical offices from the other end.”

Colon-Simon also said she thought the location of the current expansion would not be easily accessible from Highway 99 nor Highway 32.

“I think Enloe Hospital is good for Chico and good for the community,” she said. However, she thinks it “should somewhere else because the access and location will be very difficult to the growing population.”

John Martin is another neighbor who opposes expansion. “I think the current master plan is way too much for our neighborhood here, and for the community itself,” he said. He was particularly concerned about heavy traffic and pollution.

Helicopter and safety concerns are another complaint that several neighbors have. Jim and Linda Felion say they know the expansion is going to happen and are willing to work with Enloe as long as everything is done “correctly.” They are however, adamantly against helicopter fueling.

In order to cut down on flights back and forth to refuel at the Chico Municipal Airport, Enloe is thinking of putting a fuel station at the Esplanade site.

“That should not be happening,” Jim Felion said. “If there’s a problem with the fuel and if there’s a crash or some sort of malfunction, it will be unsafe for our neighborhood.”

Barbi Boeger lives right across the street from where Enloe wants to put its service plant, where energy will be generated, and said she is worried about the “humming” noise. She said she also doesn’t appreciate Enloe’s “attitude.”

“They’re going forth like it’s a done deal. They’re not waiting for the city to make up their mind,” she said.

But not all neighbors believe the expansion will hurt them.

One of them is Maureen Bromley, who lives just two doors down from Colon-Simon. “Basically, I don’t think it’s going to bother me at all,” she said.

Other residents, such as Julie Riley, also believe Enloe is a positive aspect of the community, helping people, not harming them.

“I think the expansion would be a good thing because they can save a lot of lives,” she said.

Jeff House, another around-the-corner neighbor and an employee of Enloe, said he thinks it’s necessary for the community.

“Traffic is bad enough as it is, and I don’t think it’s going to get that much worse,” he said. “Yes, it’s in my back yard. It’s got to be in someone’s back yard, so I don’t mind it being in mine.”—Michelle Maas and Nargis Nooristani