Protest from Ministry prompts city to delay Clinic-related items on meeting agenda
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Several days after the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals denied Ministry Health Care’s attempt to halt Marshfield Clinic’s interior remodeling of its East Wing, Ministry was successful in protesting two agenda items initially scheduled for the Sept. 15 City Plan Commission meeting.
Specifically, Ministry protested the appearance of two new conditional use requests being made by Marshfield Clinic related to construction in its East Wing. Ministry stated that, in accordance with city ordinance, it did not receive the agenda, which held the conditional use requests, early enough to adequately prepare objections to the issuance of the conditional use permits. Ministry’s challenge was upheld by the city, which will now hold a special meeting of the City Plan Commission to consider Marshfield Clinic’s conditional use requests on Monday, Sept. 28.
One conditional use request has to do with an expansion of the clinic’s East Wing related to providing radiation oncology treatments. Marshfield Clinic also requested a conditional use to allow The Boldt Company, the contractor performing the East Wing remodeling, to use a temporary project contractor’s office for longer than 365 days. Such a request requires a conditional use permit under city code.
City ordinance 18-158 (5) in the Marshfield Municipal code states, “Notice of the public hearing shall be mailed to all parties-in-interest at least 10 days before the hearing.” Timothy Feeley, an attorney representing Ministry Health Care, in a letter to the city of Marshfield said that on Sept. 10 Ministry received notice of the City Plan Commission meeting scheduled for Sept. 15.
“We are surprised that we were not informed of the application when we were present at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting (on Sept. 8),” Feeley’s letter stated. “That is especially so given that it appears the city has had the application in its possession since at least mid-August. Since the notice also was mailed to the hospital on Tuesday as well, providing notice to us at the meeting certainly would have been the courteous thing to do.”
Marshfield’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Jason Angell acknowledged error on the city’s part in not issuing notice of the plan commission meeting and agenda items soon enough.
“We reviewed things after it was brought to our attention that the notices were not mailed out 10 days prior to the meeting, and city code does require 10-day notice,” Angell said. “It was an error on staff’s part getting those notices out in time.”
Angell said the notices for the Sept. 28 meeting would likely be mailed out on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
When reached for comment on this story, Assistant General Counsel for Marshfield Clinic Dan Kirschnik said, “It appears as if they’re (Ministry) trying to delay our plans for future development of the campus, and it’s unfortunate.”
Kirschnik added, “I think Ministry’s motivation is they don’t want to have a competing health care provider in the market.”
Hub City Times reached out to Ministry Health Care for comment on this story but did not receive a response.