Committee chairman has more questions related to permit application
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A decision on the Marshfield Clinic’s conditional use permit application to build a 72,000-square-foot hospital addition to its current clinic in Minocqua has been delayed another week after the chairman of Oneida County’s Planning and Development Committee had additional questions at Wednesday’s meeting that he wanted answered.
Scott Holewinski listed a series of questions for more information, such as storm water drainage at the site and the effect the project would have on runoff in the area, what services would be offered at the new facility and the effect that would have on healthcare services currently performed in the area, evidence the hospital addition would enhance the public health, safety, morals, comfort and general welfare, whether the uses of neighboring properties would be substantially impaired or diminished, etc.
Marshfield Clinic’s regional medical director, Bill Melms, said the committee could be provided with answers to those questions in a week. Committee members, who previously set a special meeting for June 8 to decide on the permit application, then agreed to put off their deliberations on the proposal for a meeting they scheduled for June 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Courthouse in Rhinelander.
The committee, which held a public hearing April 27 on the permit application and also conducted an on-site inspection May 10 of the Marshfield Clinic property in Minocqua, has held off making a decision for weeks pending the receipt of additional information on the proposal.
The Marshfield Clinic is seeking a conditional use permit for a hospital that would have a surgery center, 12 in-patient beds, emergency room, imaging and lab. The proposed single-story addition, which has an estimated price tag from $30-35 million, would be built to the southwest of the existing clinic and designed for potential future expansion, vertically and horizontally, according to the permit application.
If approved, the project would place another hospital in the Minocqua-Woodruff area in close proximity to the existing Howard Young Medical Center that is part of Ministry Health Care and owned by Ascension. Representatives of HYMC have expressed objections to the Marshfield Clinic’s proposal. HYMC also has its own multi-million-dollar renovation and construction project in the works.
In addition to debating what impact the Marshfield Clinic’s project would have on the health, safety and welfare of the area, another one of the issues that has been raised is the potential effect the hospital addition could have on competition between the two healthcare organizations.
The hospital addition proposal previously received the backing of both the Minocqua Plan Commission and the Town Board after both bodies heard from supporters and opponents before the permit application was forwarded to the county’s Planning and Development Committee.
Though the committee has the authority to give the permit application final approval and place conditions on it, the decision could be appealed to the county’s Board of Adjustment.