Rather than city purchasing HVAC system for new shelter, direct donation to MAPS could expedite opening of renovated airport facility
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield’s Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee will consider a request this evening to approve a $60,000 donation to Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS), which could expedite the opening of MAPS’ new temporary home at the old airport terminal building on the Marshfield Municipal Airport property.
The city originally approved transferring $60,000 from its contingency budget to its airport fund to pay for a new HVAC system in MAPS’ new location. However, because the city would be purchasing the HVAC system, it would have to open the process up for bidding, which could delay MAPS opening the shelter.
City Administrator Steve Barg said that MAPS came to the city once they realized that the bidding process might not be completed and the HVAC installed until the end of October. MAPS President Karen Rau said that Sept. 1 might be a rough estimate of when the new shelter could open if they do not have to go through the bidding process for the HVAC system.
The city will now consider giving the $60,000 directly to MAPS as a general donation, which could be used toward any of their renovation needs at the old terminal building. MAPS would not have to put the HVAC work out for bid like the city has to, and that would likely be a time-saver for the organization.
Barg said the lease agreement between the city and MAPS would have to be reworked to make MAPS the responsible party for maintaining the HVAC system and not the city if this donation is approved. Barg also said that the city would have to make it clear to MAPS that the $60,000 would be deducted from any amount of money it might give to MAPS in the future.
The funds are being categorized as a general donation to MAPS, not explicitly for an HVAC system, which means MAPS would not necessarily have to use the money for an HVAC.
“We won’t be saying at the meeting, ‘We’re giving this for an HVAC system.’ That would even suggest that we’re trying to get around public bidding law. We’ll just be saying, ‘Look, they’ve got remodeling costs. They’re doing all this stuff to establish a pet shelter. As part of giving them a place to operate, we’re making a $50,000 or $60,000 cash contribution for them to use as they need to,” Barg said.
MAPS president Karen said that aside from the HVAC system, about $25,000 in renovations needs to be done to repurpose the old terminal building into a functioning shelter.
“We would just say that, ‘Toward your cost, we would make this donation, and you guys use it as you see fit,’ so we wouldn’t be tying it to any particular purchase or installation of anything, and truly they could because they’ve got a lot of other expenses going on at the same time out there. They really do,” Barg said.
If the Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee does not approve the direct donation to MAPS, the city will stay on its current course of purchasing the HVAC system for MAPS and will then have to go through a bidding process for that work. If the committee approves the donation, the common council would still have to give final approval at a future meeting.
The Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee will meet this evening at 5:30 p.m. in room 108 at City Hall.