West Milwaukee takes page on development from Franklin

While putting the finishing touches on the follow up on issues with the response of Franklin city fathers to proposed new development, an acquaintance shared this link from WTMJ-TV: Concerns raised over new health clinic proposal in West Milwaukee.

The very popular and well respected 16th Street Community Health Centers want to expand into an additional location in West Milwaukee. An area that already has a large number of their clients. A multi-million dollar development in a vacant industrial building.

16th Street Community Health Centers already provides medical and behavioral health care to about 40,000 patients at the existing clinics, and about 7,500 of those people do not have health insurance.

They said they’ve seen a need to open a clinic in West Milwaukee.

“We’re already serving a large number of the [West Milwaukee] community,” said Director of Community Relations Chris Mambu Rasch. “Nearly a quarter of the residents live below the federal poverty line.”

But…but…but…city officials don’t think that’s the best possible use for the building…AND GET THIS:

There was also concern about how the clinic might affect established businesses in that area and the stress it may put on the police department.

emphasis mine

Maybe you can’t hear the dog whistle…but my guess? They don’t want those brown and black people that are clients to visit a clinic in their humble little village.

Some more background…

Some members of the Village of West Milwaukee Board say they don’t think a health clinic is the best use for that property.

“This is not a matter of revenue generating decisions for the village, this is a matter of whether or not it’s an appropriate use of the property, as a heart of the village development,” said Village Attorney Val Anderson.

And the clinics attempts to win the village over:

Rasch says 16th Street has agreed to pay the village a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) of $30,000 each year. The current property owner pays about $8,100 in property taxes, according to Rasch.

He also says they collected about 100 signatures on a petition from residents who would like to see the clinic built.

“It should be a win for the village to get a new investment in the community, a $7 to $8 million new clinic,” he said. “You’re getting 50 to 60 new jobs in the village and really it’s more importantly going to directly benefit the people who live here.”

And well?? The village punted:

The board decided Monday night to table the issue, so no action was taken. They plan to continue the discussion with 16th Street.

Dudes…and I am guessing most of the electeds in West Milwaukee (and Franklin) are dudes…if you are going to encourage development…industrial, recreational, residential, retail…it’s a given…you may need additional staff to support that development. That’s good urban planning…that’s what you are elected to do! To use lack of government resources as a stalling tactic for development that you don’t agree with is shortsighted and childish. Get with the program!

One of the issues most talked about this election cycle is health care…time to get on board and help where we can given we don’t have comprehensive healthcare coverage in this country. Sounds like this would help cover more of the uncovered!

UPDATE 8/21/18: West Milwaukee turned the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center’s request down and they have given up on their plans for a West Milwaukee clinic: Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers gives up on West Milwaukee as site of new clinic


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