By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — During its June 13 meeting, the Marshfield Common Council was asked to provide additional financial support for the construction of a permanent, no-kill pet shelter in the city.
More than four years ago the city entered into a lease agreement with Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) on a 2.5-acre parcel for possible construction of a permanent facility. Then in 2015 the city leased the former airport terminal to MAPS for use as a temporary home.
“They did some nice renovations, and they are currently handling animals at that facility,” said City Administrator Steve Barg. “Shortly after they got in there, they took the cat impounds from the city for (what) the ordinance officers bring down. Recently, we just approved them to take the dog impounds from the city of Marshfield.”
Bill Heiting, who is managing the fundraising for the shelter, requested that the council provide financial support so MAPS could meet the conditions of a matching grant that is available for “brick and mortar” projects.
“It’s contingent on the city giving their support that the community foundation of Marshfield, through the J.P. Adler family fund for naming rights, has agreed to give us a $350,000 match, providing we can raise another $350,000,” Heiting said.
The city was asked to contribute $190,000 toward the project.
“If yours pulls through, we are sitting at $1,033,000,” explained Heiting. “Phase 1 of the project is about $1,180,000, so we are definitely in striking range. We have had great support. People are definitely in favor of it, and so we are just asking for your contingent support as you have done in the past.”
MAPS currently holds $150,000 from previous fundraising as well as $60,000 in HVAC equipment supplied by the city, which could be transferred to the shelter’s permanent home.
The permanent shelter would provide lodging for about 20 dogs and 40 cats. MAPS hopes to begin construction on the facility in 2019.
MAPS President Karen Rau thanked the city for its past support, something that is not as strong in other communities.
“You have always treated us with respect and kindness, and you have always encouraged us and supported us along the way,” Rau said. “We are grateful for the building that we are currently working out of. We also work out of our Adoption Center in the Marshfield Mall.
“I am so proud when I get the opportunity to speak on MAPS and our progress to other communities and other shelters and let them know that our city backed us with this.
“I can tell you of experience from talking to other shelters, … they were never supported as well as we were.”
Any potential action by the council would come at its June 27 meeting.