Funding shortfall examined
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — During the May 1 Marshfield Board of Public Works meeting, the committee approved the list of bids for the city’s community center project.
Marshfield Public Works Director Dan Knoeck said that the now $1.8 million community center project has a $600,000 funding shortfall with the $1.2 million left following the construction of the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library.
“I guess the good news is that we had a $9 million project threshold, and with the library coming in just over $7 and the community center at $1.8, we are under the $9 million target that was established by council,” said Knoeck. “The bad news is that we didn’t have all of the funding that we wanted to complete the project.”
Knoeck added that the cost of the community center project was higher than initially intended due to the asbestos removal that was needed in the structure as well as transferring Marshfield’s Park & Recreation Department there from City Hall.
Alderman and Board of Public Works member Ed Wagner stated that more than $600,000 would be needed considering that the public donations had been allocated over a five-year time frame and would not be fully paid before the money was needed.
“There is not this big lump sum of $1,215,000 sitting in the (Marshfield Area) Community Foundation’s treasury to give to us to pay for this at the end of this year,” explained Wagner. “What that means is the city is going to have to either include that in its borrowing, or we are going to have to float it out of our unrestricted, unreserved fund.
“The council said very clearly that $3 million was what we were going to put into this project. We said that. There are fund balances in other funds in the city, and, basically, if we are going to spend city money on it, I’d like to take it out of something that we have already budgeted.”
The $600,000 shortfall will be addressed in the May 16 Finance Committee meeting, and the bid package recommendation will go to the Marshfield Common Council on May 9 for approval.