People who want to comment on a proposal by the Challis Area Health Center to erect an oversize, illuminated sign on their property can be heard at a public hearing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in Challis City Hall.

People who want to comment in advance of the hearing can do so by calling city staff as 208-879-2386, mailing comments to P.O. Box 587 in Challis, emailing comments to cityclerk@custertel.net or stopping at City Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Advance comments are due by Nov. 30.

A public hearing is required because the size of the sign health center officials want is larger than what city ordinances allow. The health center wants to place a 6-by-12-foot sign at the edge of its property. City code limits signs to 53 inches by 9 feet.

AK Sign Company officials recommended the 72-square foot sign, health center CEO Steve Rembelski said. And he wants a sign that can be seen from U.S. Highway 93. People visiting Challis have complained it’s difficult to find the clinic, Rembelski said.

The price of the sign is $11,196, and Rembelski said a grant is available to cover half the cost. The grant from the Cambia Health Foundation has a catch. If the new sign isn’t “in the ground by Dec. 31, we lose the grant,” Rembelski said.

Design work is finished, Rembelski said. If City Council members approve the variance at the Dec. 2 hearing, Rembelski said there should be enough time to get the sign up before the deadline. If the variance isn’t approved, Rembelski said it is unlikely the health center will pursue installing a sign. Spending the money on a sign that is too small for its intended purpose wouldn’t be worth the investment, he said.

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