Clinic’s proposed skilled nursing facility addition denied in Minocqua
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — On Sept. 17 Marshfield Clinic was denied a conditional use permit that would have allowed the addition of a skilled nursing area to its Minocqua facility. The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee denied that request, though Marshfield Clinic can appeal the decision.
Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, which is owned by Ministry Health Care, opposed Marshfield Clinic’s proposed expansion in Minocqua.
Billy Fried, an Oneida County Board supervisor and vice chair of the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee, said that he voted in favor of the Marshfield Clinic but that the board as a whole decided the request did not meet all the necessary requirements for a conditional use permit to be issued.
“The standard that really came in question was, by issuing this (conditional use permit), would it affect the neighboring property owners, the community, etc.,” Fried said, adding that others on the board felt that the clinic’s development would adversely impact Howard Young, which could in turn hurt the community.
“I felt it was a double-edged sword. If we deny it (the permit) and the clinic decides it’s not viable for them to be in our area, they make up a high percentage of the physicians that do work at the hospital,” Fried said. “If Marshfield Clinic decides it’s not viable, then this could have the same adverse effect that the others are worried about as far as health care in the community.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System COO Dan Ramsey said that the proposed new facility had support in the Minocqua community.
“The committee’s decision is disappointing, and we will now evaluate our next steps. This had very strong support from the city of Minocqua and local residents, so the decision is a bit puzzling. As we review options, Marshfield Clinic will continue to focus on its top priority of serving the community and planning for the current and future health care needs of the area. Our facility would benefit the entire region, help control costs, and set a high standard for patient-focused care in the Minocqua area,” Ramsey said.
Hub City Times has reached out to Ministry Health Care for comment on why they oppose the Marshfield Clinic’s potential additions in Minocqua and is awaiting a response.
In early September in Marshfield, Ministry attempted to halt ongoing construction in the Clinic’s East Wing, arguing that the work should have required a conditional use permit and not just a building permit. The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals ultimately ruled in favor of Marshfield Clinic in that dispute, allowing the work to continue.
More recently in Marshfield, Ministry protested two conditional use requests made by Marshfield Clinic, arguing that not enough notice was given prior to the time that the requests would be heard at a City Plan Commission meeting. These more recent conditional use requests were for different work than the work being disputed at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. Ministry was successful in getting the hearing for the more recent conditional use requests moved back to a Sept. 28 special City Plan Commission meeting.