By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield officials are moving ahead with the relocation of city government, by approving major borrowing to make it happen in 2018.
The Marshfield Common Council voted unanimously Nov. 14 in favor of borrowing nearly $6 million to move city hall to the current Forward Financial building at 207 W. Sixth Street, Marshfield and to help the bank with its relocation to North Central Avenue.
City Administrator Steve Barg said there is just over $3.3 million for the purchase and renovation of the existing bank.
“$3.35 million is to purchase and remodel the Forward Financial building,” he said. “$2.6 million is the purchase and about three-quarters of a million is the expected renovation cost to turn that into city hall.”
The city is also giving Forward Financial a $2 million incentive toward the construction of its new headquarters along North Central Avenue near Burger King, on what was known as the Hartl Manor property, and because that was deemed a blighted parcel, Barg said the city could use its Community Development Authority (CDA) as the bonding agent for the financing.
“The CDA has been looking… to work with the city closer on projects,” Barg added. “Historically, our CDA has been just a housing authority, and they’ve run Cedar Rail and Parkview (Apartments) and done a great job, but they have more statutory authority. One of the things that they can do is view us as a bonding agent for these projects.
“So the Forward Financial building up in the area of Burger King, their $10 million plus new building, we are actually using CDA to do the borrowing. So, they’ll be the borrowing entity and the city will be facilitating that through approval of resolution.
“Now, ultimately, the city is still responsible for lease payments if they are not being made. Being that we are getting rid of blight and replacing it with a new commercial building, that is where CDA can come in and be the financing agent for that project.”
Mayor Chris Meyer says it is a new approach for the city, which is using what has historically amounted to simply a housing authority, operating Cedar Rail Court and Parkview Apartments.
“I think it is incredibly positive, both for the city from a financial standpoint and some of the projects we have to do or we need to do that end up weighing down our debt limits. It is incredibly advantageous for the CDA, who has lost funding over the last several years going back to the days of the sequester, and are always looking for ways that they can help the city and really start to perform the duties of a community development authority, not just a housing authority. So, this is good to see.”
The city will recoup its costs through incremental property tax dollars on the new development.
The city hall relocation is slated for September of 2018, once Forward Financial moves into its new facility.