Marathon business changes may impact village agreement
Chris Gustafson, CEO at Astia Health, told the Marathon City Village Board Aug. 5 his company has changed its business model and doing well financially.
The switch in business models means Astia is no longer utilizing its building in the Marathon City Business Park the way founder Alex Sommers envisioned it would be operated in the developer’s agreement between his company and the village, he said.
Gustafson said he wanted to squelch a rumor among Marathon residents that Astia Health is not financially viable because it is no longer using the business park building for a company’s headquarters or its two garage stalls for its vehicle mobile units.
He said Astia Health has shifted its business model and, in turn, is more profitable.
Gustafson, who grew up in Wausau and graduated from Wausau Newman High School, said Sommers has handed over the reigns of operating the business to him so he can just focus on providing health care.
He said originally Astia Health focused on receiving health insurance reimbursements from treating central Wisconsin patients. Gustafson said Marshfield Clinic and Aspirus, who own their own health insurance companies, blocked Astia from receiving payments. Gustafson said Astia’s new business model has companies purchase subscriptions for Astia to provide healthcare for their employees and their families. Astia currently has mobile clinic locations in Abbotsford, Marshfield and Weston.
“We’ve gone from having six to 35 employees now,” he said. “We are saving businesses 20 to 30 percent of their costs associated with healthcare in the first year of our partnership with them.” Gustafson told Marathon City trustees Astia isn’t trying to change the original developer’s agreement it made with the village. Astia could possibly still use its building in Marathon in the future, if it secures agreements with companies in Marathon to provide healthcare to their employees and families.
If this doesn’t happen in the future, Gunderson said, Astia would possibly acquire a smaller building in Marathon and sell its original building in the business park to another company, which would take on the developer’s agreement. In other news:
_ Andy Kurtz, Marathon village administrator and clerk, provided the village board with an update on the $4.7 million Economic Developer’s Agreement (EDA) grant application the village submitted to the federal government.
Kurtz said he continues to work towards getting grant money to build infrastructure on land located east of STH 107 and north of STH 29 for development of new businesses and for new homes to be built on the north side on the Semerau property the village has purchased.
_ The village board appointed Jocelyn VanRixel, who’ll be a senior attending Marathon High School this fall, as a new EMT on the Marathon Fire Department. She’ll only be able to help out on weekends until she graduates from high school next spring.
_ Kurtz told the village board the Riverside Park bathroom is now closed because of vandalism. He said people keep removing the metal dividers between the toilets; therefore the village will likely pour cement dividers between the toilets in the future so the bathrooms can be reopened to the public.
_ Arrow Tap rescinded its Use Permit Application to hold a Labor Day weekend bags tournament on the village parking lot behind the business, it was announced.
_ Village workers are now using the new Ford F-350 small truck the village purchased. The village is going to first attempt to sell the old oneton truck locally before it sells it in a statewide auction.