By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield aldermen have signed off on the city’s latest version of its five-year planning document, with original road and pool replacement funds left intact.
With Alderman Pete Hendler absent, the Marshfield Common Council voted 8- 1 May 8 in favor of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that covers major projects from 2018-2023.
The plan totals just over $33 million, and nearly half that is earmarked for street work. For discussion purposes last month, Alderman Chris Jockheck had suggested taking $500,000 from the road budget in each of the first two years of the plan, and putting it toward the fund for a Hefko Pool replacement project. He backed away from that position, while still stressing the pool’s importance.
“I did not mean my comments to pit the pool versus streets,” said Jockheck, “and the street recommendation – that money – that wasn’t the point. The point was feeling urgency on getting a pool project completed.”
The 2020 portion of the CIP includes funding for a replacement for Hefko Pool. City Parks & Recreation Director Justin Casperson said the only reason the pool is not in next year’s plan is because 2020 is the earliest a private and community-based fundraising effort could likely get going, and he said there has been no formal architectural planning or design work on what a new aquatic center would look like.
“That (takes) typically anywhere from nine to 12 months of trying to get design – we have a conceptual design that looks like a picture – but actually getting an architect firm and design done that are going to fit that site, that typically takes a long process, and you want to be at a certain fundraising point or a certain funding point before you start that. You don’t want to start that right away and find out you just spent $500,000 on design plans that are not going to come to fruition. So, that’s why it was just pushed off, because we are not quite at that point.”
Right now, the CIP for 2020 includes $2.8 million in borrowing and $3.4 million in private donations.
As for the city’s current facility, Casperson said the 84-year-old Hefko Pool is showing its age.
“Plaster is now peeling up from the pool shell itself,” he said. “A lot of concrete is heaving; inside restrooms, we have to fix a few of the doors because they no longer open and close because the concrete is heaving (so much.)”
Casperson said crews are currently in the process of draining, cleaning, and painting the pool and it should be up and running for the summer season in roughly two weeks.
City officials have noted that no formal fundraising process has been started.
Rebecca Spiros was the only member of the council to vote against the CIP as presented.