BOA grants permit for Marshfield Clinic to build hospital in Minocqua
But permit conditions don’t include allowing heliport
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
After day-long deliberations Thursday, the Oneida County Board of Adjustment voted 4-1 to grant a conditional use permit to the Marshfield Clinic to build a hospital addition to its current clinic in Minocqua.
Board member Phil Albert cast the lone dissenting vote.
The Board of Adjustment’s action overturns a decision by the county’s Planning and Development Committee, which voted 3-2 on June 14 to deny a permit for a 72,000-square-foot addition. Committee members Scott Holewinski, Jack Sorensen and Mike Timmons voted to deny the permit, while Dave Hintz and Billy Fried favored the permit’s issuance.
The committee’s majority had based its decision on the application not meeting a permit standard for approval that states, “The establishment, maintenance or operation of the conditional use will not be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare.”
The Marshfield Clinic appealed the committee’s decision on the basis it was an improper denial of the permit application and solely related to concerns about competition.
County planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich noted the board’s action to overturn the committee’s decision and grant a permit to the Marshfield Clinic includes conditions, such as not allowing a heliport to be built at the site.
Marshfield Clinic regional medical director Bill Melms said he is pleased with the results of Thursday’s deliberations and the board’s favorable vote.
“At this point we are fine with proceeding without the heliport,” Melms said. “We will now initiate the advanced planning phase and anticipate breaking ground in the spring. None of the conditions placed were burdensome, so we do not anticipate appealing them.”
The Marshfield Clinic applied in January for a conditional use permit to build a hospital in Minocqua 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.
The project would place another hospital in the Minocqua-Woodruff area in close proximity to the existing Howard Young Medical Center that is owned by Ascension. Representatives of HYMC have objected to the Marshfield Clinic’s proposal. HYMC initiated its own multi-million-dollar renovation and construction project this year.
Marshfield Clinic’s 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 for a decision and then appealed by the Marshfield Clinic to the Board of Adjustment.
Jennrich said the Board of Adjustment’s decision could be appealed by Ascension in Oneida County Circuit Court after the decision is issued in writing.