By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield’s utility is giving the city a return on its investment. Members of the commission which governs the utility presented Mayor Bob McManus a payment in lieu of taxes – or PILOT – totaling more than $2 million, during the April 24 council meeting. Commission President Mike Eberl told the common council the city would not get that kind of return on its investment if Marshfield was served by an investor-owned utility.
“If Marshfield Utilities were an investor-owned utility, or an IOU, such as Alliant Energy or Wisconsin Public Service…the city would receive no PILOT payment – zero,” he said. “Instead, under state Wisconsin Public Service Commission rule, the IOU would pay a 3.19 percent of their revenue to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
“In 2017, our electric utility sales were $30,900,000, roughly; that meant as an IOU, we would pay to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue $987,000.”
Of the $2.166 million brought back to the city, $1.3 million comes from the electric utility, while $658,000 comes from the water utility, and the remaining $223,000 is the utility’s annual dividend payment to the city. In recent years, that payment has been earmarked for economic development projects within the city.
Commission member George Holck also told the council the utility buys local. Last year Marshfield Utilities spent $2.3 million with local contractors and vendors. He also noted that, on average, Marshfield’s electric rates were 25 percent lower last year than investor-owned utilities in the state.