‘There’s a great need:’ West Milwaukee board delays vote on rezoning for proposed health care clinic

West Milwaukee Village Board

WEST MILWAUKEE -- The Village of West Milwaukee delayed a decision on two acres of land that could be used for a health care clinic. The proposed "Sixteenth Street" clinic could eventually provide health care to 12,000 people.

Project leaders say they want to bring this clinic to an area with limited access to health care.

The West Milwaukee Village Board delayed the decision to approve or deny rezoning just over two acres of land to be used for the proposed clinic.

"There isn't a health care clinic in West Milwaukee," said Chris Rasch.

Chris Rasch

The location under consideration is near 44th and Mitchell. Rezoning would change the land from manufacturing to business purposes.

"It seems like it would be a win, win, win," said Rasch.

Rasch is the director of government and community relations for the Sixteenth Street Community Health Care Center. He said the project has been in the works since receiving a pledge from Froedtert Health three years ago.

"The patients that we see do have insurance, but we also see a number of patients who have no insurance and so we provide access to them where they otherwise may not have access," said Rasch.

44th and Mitchell

Sixteenth Street officials chose the Village of West Milwaukee because it's an area they identified as having the greatest need for access to health care. According to their research, nearly a quarter of the population lives under the federal poverty line.

"It's an area where there's a great need for behavioral and medical care," said Rasch.

44th and Mitchell

According to Sixteenth Street officials, they're also volunteering a $30,000 payment in lieu of taxes, nearly four times more than what the village is receiving on the current property.

John Stalewski

"We still have some concerns and questions with some of things presented earlier," said John Stalewski, village president.

During a meeting Monday, Aug. 6, village officials were not swayed by some of the data presented, which is why the board felt the project requires much further discussion.

"We have to be very vigilant about protecting the interest of our homeowners, taxpayers and small businesses and to not shift a burden onto a new development," said Stalewski.

Construction of the clinic was originally planned for the fall.

Village of West Milwaukee

We received this update on Aug. 20, from the director of communications for the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers:

"We are disappointed that we could not come to an agreement with the Village of West Milwaukee Board on the PILOT, and therefore will not be moving ahead with the planned new clinic in West Milwaukee. Sixteenth Street and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network remain committed to expanding access to care and will be working together to determine next steps."