Janesville61°

City hasn’t set plans for roads, sewers

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Mike DuPre'
April 11, 2008
— City officials have not discussed a site plan and needed infrastructure for a new hospital planned for 50 acres on Janesville’s east side, City Engineer Jack Messer said Thursday afternoon.

Dean Health System and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin announced their plan for $140-million, 50-bed hospital Thursday south of East Racine Street (Highway 11) and east of Interstate 90/39.


Representatives of the health systems and city officials have not yet talked about a site plan and what it would require in terms of streets, sewers and other infrastructure, said Messer, who also is director of the city’s public works department.


“When we heard the announcement (Thursday) and we got the site, we started developing a plan,” he said.


Sewer and water mains already run along the north side of East Racine Street, he noted.


If and how they could serve the new hospital would depend on the plan for the site and its topography, Messer said.


In addition, a rural extension of Wright Road abuts or is near the site and probably would be improved because of the new hospital, Messer said.


The city has a standard assessment process to determine who pays what for infrastructure for new development, he added, but it was still too early to say how that might play out for the hospital project.


THE DEAN/ST. MARY’S PLAN

Plans are to start construction soon and open a 50-bed hospital in 2010 near the intersection of Highway 11/14 and Interstate 39/90 in Janesville.


The hospital would be run by the parent company of Madison’s St. Mary’s Hospital.


The new hospital would be a sister hospital to St. Mary’s and St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, said Mary Starmann-Harrison, CEO of SSM Health Care of Wisconsin.


Dean Health System would put up a medical office building next to the hospital and move much of its Janesville clinic operations there.


The new facility will cost $140 million, officials said.


Dean is just starting to look at what it will do with its existing Riverview and Northview clinics in Janesville, but it would maintain some kind of presence there, and it’s looking into whether there’s a need for a Dean presence on Janesville’s west and south sides, said Dr. Craig Samitt, Dean’s president and CEO.


The new hospital, while much smaller than the existing Mercy Hospital, could grow.


“We intend to expand the hospital as the community grows and the need arises,” Starmann-Harrison said.


Community input will be solicited in the naming of the hospital, Starmann-Harrison said.


Meanwhile, Mercy Health System also owns land near Interstate 90/39 in Janesville and once designated it as the site of a future facility. Not anymore, unless Janesville sees “huge growth” in population, said Mercy CEO Javon Bea.


“We’re not planning a hospital in there, not unless something drastic changes,” Bea said.


That land’s value has risen rapidly, so it has been a good investment, Bea said.



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