City looks at possible annexation of 85 acres on north side
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The city of Marshfield has been petitioned to add an 85-acre parcel of land to the city’s north side.
The annexation would include two parcels owned by McCow LLC, which currently sit in the town of McMillan, west of State Highway 97, east of Hamus Park.
“Strangely enough, there is a city well out there,” said Marshfield City Administrator Steve Barg. “One of the things that needs to be protected in this whole process is the city’s easement to access and service that well.
“They want to develop it commercially and probably some residential behind that commercial; the commercial will be along Highway 97 where one would expect.”
While the property owners have no immediate plans, they came to the city requesting to annex, which requires the city to set an annexation fee.
In addition, state law requires the city to compensate the town for five years worth of lost taxes.
“In the case of McCow, they are paying just under $500 a year of taxes to the town of McMillan,” said Barg.
Based on that amount, the city would need to pay McMillan approximately $2,400.
“Our normal procedure is to collect that as an annexation fee from the person annexing. We are like the middle man at that point, handing it off to the town,” Barg explained.
“But sometimes people will ask for a lower fee. In this case, the applicant said, ‘Hey, look. Eighty-five acres of developable property (and) we want to have some commercial. You guys want new businesses in town, don’t you? So, can you give us a break? You are going to end up with a lot of tax value that you are going to get for many, many years. Can you reduce that?’
“They were asking to bring it down to zero; they don’t want to pay any annexation fee.
“We looked at it and said that for vacant property the most we can charge is $800.”
Barg said that if the property owners had immediate plans for development, they might have come down to zero, but felt that $800 was a good compromise.
The annexation request will now go to Plan Commission on March 17.
“They’ll look at the other land uses; they’ll set initial zoning for it,” Barg said, “and we’ll have to run it by the state of Wisconsin to make certain that it meets the requirements for annexation.”
Barg said that an annexation this size is not typical in the city.
“Usually we only have an annexation every three or four years,” he said,” and oftentimes, it is just a parcel or two, somebody wants to get sewer and water.
“I don’t believe there has been one of this size for a long time.
The matter will go to the Plan Commission before coming back to the council on March 24.