By Adam Hocking
Editor’s note: Members of the Marshfield Common Council, Mayor Chris Meyer, and City Administrator Steve Barg met Tuesday, July 28, in the city’s sixth strategic planning session. Much of the conversation focused on the state of city-owned facilities.
Discussed were the long-term viability of city hall as a location for city departments, the space limitations of the current police department, and the possibility of combining currently separate facilities under a single roof in the future. It is important to note that strategic planning sessions involve conversations that are conceptual in nature and do not represent any imminent action from the city.
This article is the last of a three-part series and concerns possibly combining facilities.
MARSHFIELD — At the July 28 strategic planning meeting, Alderman Ed Wagner talked about perhaps combining city facilities in one location. Barg also said that Marshfield Utilities had discussed the possibility of building a new $14 million facility and could propose sharing a location with other city departments.
Alderman Gordy Earll brought up the possibility of the city partnering with the school district on an athletic complex, considering that the district just approved Rettler Corporation to conduct a study of the district’s athletic facilities.
Meyer said that before the city would consider potential relocation from any of its current facilities, it would need to have a firm plan for what to do with the building it would be vacating.
“We really want to make sure that if we do something with facilities — that means changing facilities — we really identify all the dominos,” Meyer said. He added that there is potential for the city to lease a building rather than own it in the future.
“Anything we do when it comes to facilities is driven by one of two things: either economic development — there’s something more valuable; there’s a better and higher use for the property we have — or it’s going to save money for the taxpayers,” Meyer said.
In discussing the need for a new or renovated city pool, Barg brought up public and private partnerships, which have been successful in delivering a new bear exhibit and library and community center to the city.
“You won’t see police stations built that way I realize, but facilities like libraries, like pools, like those kind of amenities may have to be done as a public/private event,” Barg said.