To the Journal editor:
After reading the Feb. 8 article, "Moving Ahead," about Marquette General Hospital, I am perplexed. Unless I am mistaken, all previous newspaper articles and television broadcasts have stated that the new location for MGH would be within the city of Marquette.
When did the sites change to include Marquette County? I don't recall ever reading or hearing of any such information, or even a mention of K.I. Sawyer or the former Marquette County Airport (in Negaunee Township) as being possibilities.
I would welcome someone from the newspaper and/or television station to direct me to the article and/or broadcast that featured this information.
According to the newspaper, the estimated cost of a new hospital and office building will be around $290 million compared to $230 million to remodel.
If I were a betting woman, I would predict that after all is said and done, that the buildings will far exceed the $290 million mark and then what will the rationale be?
Do we really want to board up the medical center and hospital and have another blight on our hands like the old orphanage? Why not make use of what the community has already invested and expanded on over the years? Keep the history and area intact and build upon what we already have.
Building a new hospital is not going to bring people from downstate or neighboring states to the Upper Peninsula. Those who live in northern Lower Peninsula will go to U of M-Beaumont or other hospitals near the metro area where they will not have to travel on desolate and dangerous U.P winter roads. The same goes for Wisconsin and other states who have their own facilities.
Remember when the airport moved to K.I. Sawyer? We were told how great the move would be for the community. What did we get? A long, dark, unlit drive on dangerous winter roads, plane tickets to Detroit that cost almost as much as a trip to Europe, and vending machines for snacks.
Was it worth it?
Remember, it will be the employees and patients who will pay in terms of extra work and added costs to support this endeavor.