Mercy Walworth slated for expansion
If you go
What: Williams Bay Village Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Williams Bay Village Hall, 250 Williams St., Williams Bay
GENEVA TOWNSHIP Mercy Health System is planning to more than triple the size of its Walworth County facility to better meet the growing area's medical needs, a vice president said.
"Our objective always—as we look at the addition of services in a region—is to be responsive to community needs," Mercy Vice President Rich Gruber said. "We'll be providing a broader, more inclusive set of services than we've been able to as a result (of the planned expansion)."
Plans call for expanding the existing Mercy Walworth Hospital and Medical Center at N2950 Highway 67 from 60,000 square feet to almost 200,000 square feet to include additional hospital beds, a birthing center, an intensive care unit and an outpatient clinic, he said. And with the expanded services comes about 70 full-time jobs, he said.
For months, Mercy has been working with the town of Geneva and village of Williams Bay to obtain the appropriate zoning and conditional use permits for nine parcels it owns along Highway 67 in Geneva Township.
The existing hospital sits on a 6-acre parcel at the intersection of highways 50 and 67. The Town of Geneva Plan Commission, the Geneva Town Board and the Williams Bay Extraterritorial Zoning Committee have approved rezoning the remaining eight parcels from residential to business.
The Williams Bay Village Board could approve the rezone at its meeting Monday.
Gruber said things are moving along with one exception: Mercy is seeking access to the Williams Bay water system, but officials are concerned about extending services outside the village.
Mercy gets its water from a well on the property, Gruber said. An expanded facility would overburden the well, which is why Mercy is seeking access to village water, he said.
Williams Bay Village President Don Weyhrauch said a hookup is a possibility.
"We're working on getting all the information—dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's," he said.
Once the village learns if its water system could handle the increased usage, then negotiations can begin, Weyhrauch said.
Since the original facility opened in 1995, Mercy has had access to the Williams Bay sewer system.
Reaching a similar agreement for water services "will dictate the rest" of the process, Gruber said.
"Getting through the permitting process is the key in terms of our calendar," he said.
Gruber said the $40 million expansion project is slated to begin in summer, and construction would take about 18 months.