Survey: People travel out of town for water facilities
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — In a recent survey, local residents said they travel out of the area to visit water recreation facilities.
The survey was administered by the 13-member Marshfield Pool Study Committee, formed last summer, to inform cost estimates and conceptual designs for the purposed replacement of the more than 80-year-old Hefko Pool.
The public was invited early in January to complete the online survey, and approximately 2,000 individuals completed the 15-question study. The majority of those filling out the survey lived in the city of Marshfield and had maintained a local residence 11 or more years.
“The survey was not meant to be scientifically valid but rather an extension of the pool public information meeting that was held in December,” said Marshfield Parks & Recreation Director Justin Casperson. “The committee wanted to engage and inform the community about the project and give them an avenue for feedback.”
According to survey results, 43 percent of the respondents visited Hefko Pool one to five times during the season, and 55 percent traveled to other cities to use their facilities the same number of times. However, 76 percent said that they would likely use new facilities if Hefko Pool was replaced.
The survey outcome showed great support for the pool and the committee’s proposal as 66 percent expressed that the pool is important to the city, and 85 percent supported the current cost estimate of $6 million with a combination of public/private financing as the most favorable funding option.
The most preferred pool feature proposed on the survey was a water journey play area for young children, and the least favored was a game room. In addition, there were multiple requests for a lazy river.
Although the Pool Study Committee was not tasked with exploring the matter of relocating the pool or rebuilding on-site, the survey did include a question addressing the issue. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed supported the current location, many suggested relocation to other parks, and others wanted the pool to remain on the south side of the city.