Bathrooms secured for public use
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – After two decades of talk and preparation for a downtown green space, Marshfield’s new Wenzel Family Plaza is set to open July 11.
“That is the currently planned date for the ribbon cutting unless severe weather or unforeseen setbacks during construction, but as of now the Plaza is almost ahead of schedule and I am excited to see it completed,” said Mark Davis, who was named events coordinator for the outdoor facility in May.
Davis, who began his work as coordinator on May 15, hit the ground running for the July opening. He is currently working with the Chestnut Center for the Arts to complete the Friday Night Concert Series, which will run the remainder of the summer until late September.
“The one event that is confirmed is this year’s Oktoberfest that will be hosted by the Wenzel Family Plaza,” Davis said.
As Davis takes the lead on carving out a new venue in downtown Marshfield, he said that he has gotten great support from city organizations.
“The number one thing I have appreciated is having the support of so many amazing people that care about the city of Marshfield – from Scott Larson and his staff at MACCI, Matt McLean and his team at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, my supervisor Kaelie Gomez and coworker Diane Gallatin from Main Street Marshfield, the Wenzel Family Plaza Committee members including Erin Howard and many more…it means so much to me that everyone has been so welcoming and supportive,” Davis said.
While city aldermen continue to discuss the need for permanent bathrooms at the site, Davis stated that portables will be available for public use
“I am currently working with BD Liquid Waste Hauling, who are donating a standard and handicap porta potty for the Plaza,” he said. “They will be delivered in time for the ribbon cutting/grand opening and will remain there until October or November depending on the weather.”
Past Main Street Marshfield President and Wenzel Plaza Committee member Erin Howard addressed the Marshfield Common Council at its June 12 meeting, stating that the portable bathrooms are a temporary arrangement until the committee and the city are able to discuss future options, such as a higher grade portable or permanent restrooms.
“The fact that we don’t have public restrooms is not because the city was incompetent and they just didn’t think of it; it was in the initial plans,” she said.
Howard added that budget cuts necessitated a few adjustments to the project and noted the generosity of private contributors that aided in making the plaza come to fruition.
She also stated that the Wenzel Plaza Committee had met with Wausau officials regarding its 400 block plaza, and they had advised against permanent bathrooms. Howard also said that this might be an opportunity for downtown businesses to generate additional foot traffic.
“(In Wausau) I understand that some actually have signs saying, ‘Don’t use our bathrooms’ and then there are some that say, ‘Go ahead and use our bathrooms. There is a clearance rack right behind there,’’’ Howard added.
“Ideally, a year from now, Council will have to make the decision of bringing in permanent bathrooms. I think it is a good problem to have, because that means that our plaza is successful…”
The Common Council will continue discussion on the plaza bathroom issue, after received feedback from the 2018 summer traffic.
The opening of the Wenzel Family Plaza will coincide with Wisconsin Farm Technology Days which will be held just west of Marshfield July 10-12.