Aldermen endorse Baltus property purchase
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Despite unanimous opposition from the city’s Plan Commission, Marshfield aldermen are moving forward with the purchase of a piece of property in the downtown.
With one seat vacant on Sept. 24, the Marshfield Common Council voted 8-to-1 in favor of drafting an offer to purchase the Baltus Express Lube property at 110 South Chestnut Avenue. The vote came one week after the city’s Plan Commission rejected the proposal last week.
Alderman Tom Witzel was on the fence until just before the vote was taken, he stated:
Mayor Bob McManus said the Plan Commission had limited information leading up to last week’s vote. The mayor said:
The site is seen as a major piece for one of two possible uses – a future expansion of the police department, which is in need of additional storage space for vehicles and equipment or the city has been looking at expanding the Second Street pedestrian corridor between the new library and the Steven J. Miller Recreation area.
Limited contamination was identified on that property in 1990, but Public Works Director Dan Knoeck told the council the DNR deemed it acceptable by 2001. He said any remaining contamination should be easy for the city to deal with. He stated:
There’s thought that the city might someday expand the police department into the adjacent municipal parking lot, and the Baltus property was seen as a suitable replacement. Alderman Steve MacSwain said the council should stick with that plan. MacSwain said:
The council said back in March that any expansion of the police department should be done on its existing site. The Baltus property comes into play because the building that’s there features four quick access bays and another large garage area that could accommodate another six to eight vehicles.