Posted on

City approves zoning change for new hospital

The city of Medford cleared the way for Marshfield Clinic System to build a new 18,100 square foot hospital in the community.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, members approved rezoning parcels on the south side of Broadway Ave. (Hwy 64) just west of Ninth Street from highway commercial (C1) to institutional (G1) use. The change allows greater flexibility in what is permitted on the parcel to accommodate the hospital’s needs. Institutional zoning districts include schools, the courthouse, churches and other government buildings. According to hospital representatives, the rezoning will allow them to move ahead with the final purchase of the lots this week. Plans are to build the hospital parallel to Hwy 64 across from the Taylor County Fairground.

The rezoning requests had previously been approved by the city’s planning commission. Hospital representatives said they had hoped to begin construction in June or July, but with delays in materials and contractors that may be pushed back.

“We are excited about having you here,” said Mayor Mike Wellner. “It will be a nice addition to our city.”


The city of Medford got a clean bill of health in its most recent audit.

Jon Trautman of Clifton Larson Allen LLP, reported to council members that the city’s audit showed no problems. “You received an unmodified clean opinion,” Trautman said, noting this is what you hope to get from an outside audit.

The city of Medford continues to have healthy fund balances not only in the general fund, which has a fund balance of about $7.6 million split between designated and undesignated accounts, but also in the utility accounts.

“It is a good position to be in as far as having fund balances,” Trautman said, noting that typically he is telling municipalities they should look at building reserves. He said this gives the city greater flexibility to react if something happens or to invest in a one-time project.

In other business, council members:

_ Received word from recently elected alderman Erica Petersen that she and her husband have purchased a home outside the city and will be moving to Eau Claire to be closer to work. She said June 7 will be her last meeting on city council. Petersen was elected in April to take over from Tim Hansen in representing the southeastern portion of the city. Wellner reported that he has approached individuals about filling the position and plans to bring a recommendation for a replacement to the June 7 meeting for council approval. He said they are looking into if the person would fill the two years of Petersen’s position or be up for reelection next spring.

_ Approved a fireworks permit for a display to be held as part of the Medford Area Senior High School graduation week events. According to Brook Meyer and Jade Severson of the Medford Student Council, the display will take place at Raider Field on Wednesday, May 25 following the scholarship and awards presentation. Big Daddy Fireworks will put on the display. This is the first fireworks permit issued by the city since adopting a policy to allow private displays put on by professional companies.