Council members discuss 2019-2023 CIP and pool replacement
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – At the April 24 Marshfield Common Council meeting, council members were presented with the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that covers major projects from 2019-2023.
The plan totals just over $33 million, with 44 percent dedicated to street work and 25 percent of the funding going to parks.
The 2020 portion of the CIP includes funding for a replacement for Hefko Pool. Alderman Chris Jockheck wishes that project had been moved up.
“Last year it was 2019; this year it’s 2020,” he said. “If we don’t have a discussion about this, it will be pushed off to 2021. That pool, at 85 years old, one day it’s just not going to start, and we are going to be like Rapids and we are going to end up having to make decisions on pool replacement under the gun, rather than being proactive and doing a good job and getting the pool we really do want that will meet our needs.”
Witzel says the project must get done soon, to keep dollars from leaving Marshfield, and to attract new money as well.
“I would love to see this happen more quickly,” Witzel said. “I know a lot of people who are taking a lot of dollars out of this community. They are taking their families elsewhere, and they are spending a tremendous amount of money, on a regular basis, during the summer months to go to the Weston aquatic center, to go to some of the other neighboring communities, and it’s money that’s lost to our community, as we know with some recent developments commercially in this city.
“We really don’t want to continue to lose economic money, by stretching this out that much further.
“We need to look at how we can keep all of that money, all of those families local, and not only to keep those people local, but to draw in from regional areas. If you look at some of the surrounding communities, I think it would be a whole lot quicker for Spencer, Stratford, Granton, Neillsville to drive to Marshfield, rather than to go elsewhere as well.
“I don’t think the pool, as an entity, is going to be a money-maker that is going to provide us with our payback. I think what the pool is going to offer us in economic development in the area, and in the city as a whole, is where that payoff is going to come in.”
Right now, CIP planning for 2020 includes $2.8 million in borrowing and $3.4 million in private donations for the pool.
Barg said the pool funding was earmarked for 2020 only because that is the earliest a private and community-based fundraising effort could likely get going.
“This is not the city tip-toeing backwards down the road away from wanting to build a pool, as much as it is looking at where we are and the fundraising,” Barg said.
“It’s just looking at the timeline, where we are at today, the likelihood of being able to have the private fundraising get to that point, pull the details together to construct.”
The Council took no formal action on the CIP; it is scheduled for the May 8 meeting.