Jessica Blahnik regional morgue marathon county

County board to consider next steps in county morgue project

Jessica Blahnik regional morgue marathon county

Marathon County will see construction start on the regional forensics science center this year as county leaders are set to approve buying land for the project and hiring a forensics pathologist. 

The Marathon County Board Tuesday is expected to approve the hiring a forensics pathologist in order to have that person in place to help develop staff and set policy for the facility, says Marathon County Administrator Lance Leonhard. That process is expected to take time because forensics pathologists are in short supply right now, he says. 

The county’s Public Safety and Human Resources, Property and Finance committees already gave the OK to the project.

And, the county board approved purchasing land from Northcentral Technical College for the facility. The county will purchase the land at fair market value and NTC will reimburse the county by funding the facilities information technology infrastructure in the same amount, Leonhard says. 

Marathon County has been working on building a regional forensics science center or morgue for nearly a decade because right now only three places offer forensic pathology services in the state. Travel time and expenses for the medical examiner’s office and for Sheriff’s Office deputies who often must accompany the body have increased as the number of deaths in Marathon County increase. 

A number of other counties around the state also plan on using Marathon County’s facility and operations are expected to be budget neutral.