OrthoIllinois' Wisconsin ASC controversy continues after 'passionate' public debate 

The Beloit, Wis., city council took no action on the proposed zoning amendment tied to ASC development after a Sept. 7 public hearing that drew "passionate" debate, according to Beloit Daily News. 

Under the proposal, which the city's plan commission narrowly passed Aug. 18, the word "hospital" would be replaced as a use category with the term "medical facility." This qualification would include ASCs, nursing homes, hospitals and medical clinics as potentially allowed developments.

The proposal comes after Rockford, Ill.-based OrthoIllinois withdrew its application to build an ASC after strong opposition from Beloit Health System, the city's largest employer. After the Beloit Plan Commission passed the proposal Aug. 18, city staff confirmed to the Beloit Daily News that OrthoIllinois again is eyeing property to potentially build an ASC. 

The Sept. 7 public hearing featured nearly two dozen public speakers both for and against the changes, according to the Beloit Daily News. Supporters say the change would bring more healthcare providers to the city while opponents say it would harm Beloit Health System.

The council will meet Sept. 20 to discuss the proposal again. If the council takes action on the proposal in its current form, the approval process will restart to address "substantial" recommendations the commission made at its Aug. 18 meeting.

Two council members are employees of Beloit Health System, and both say they won't recuse themselves from voting on the zoning change.

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