Wood Co. Nursing Home Residents Concerned Over Proposed Road Project

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A proposed road construction project in the Village of Biron has the staff at an assisted living facility a little worried.

The plan would re-align south Biron Drive along the Wisconsin River to create a recreational area. Staff at the facility say the project would not only force them to lose land, but would negatively impact their residents.

The Wellington Place Nursing facility says they've always prided themselves on allowing residents to be close to nature, but now they're concerned that if this road is moved onto their property, it will not only limit recreational areas they have, but more importantly pose a threat to safety.

Administrators at the Wellington Place are concerned about the Village of Biron wanting to buy more than three-and-a-half acres of their property to create a park and change the route of this roadway. They say it comes down to the safety of their residents.

"If they move the road it will be where the sign is, closer to the building, shortening up our safe distance from the building for residents, families, and staff,” Explains Mandy Schulist.

The distance deals with their evacuation plan to get residents out of the building in an emergency situation. Beyond just safety concern, administrators worry that a major construction project could negatively impact their residents' way of life.

"We deal with Alzheimer's and dementia patients so even small changes can have a huge impact on them. One of the reasons that our residents and our families choose Wellington Place is because of the unique setting we can offer to them,” Explains Schulist.

But the Village of Biron says the project would benefit all of the community's residents, including those at Wellington Place.

The Village President declined to go on camera Tuesday, but issued a statement and directed us to a fact sheet given out to residents at Monday night's village board meeting.

The sheet it says, "The South Biron Drive project does shorten the length of the Wellington driveways, it also improves and reconstructs those driveways to eliminate the severe drainage problems and seasonal freezing of water in both driveways. The project does not impact the Wellington parking lot."

The planning is just in the planning stages and nothing has been approved yet.

The Village President says there could still be changes to the plan, but that they would like to begin work as early as later this year.

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