Council Approves Next Step for Pool

(C) Steven Okonek, TriMedia

Aldermen Discuss Pool Site

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The Common Council approved the next phase for the pool at Tuesday’s meeting.

Last week, the Board of Public Works approved a proposal from Ayres Associates to commence the design phase for the facility at a cost of $329,050. The item moved for final approval on Tuesday evening. Construction is expected to be completed in time for summer 2021. Silent fundraising is ongoing.

Alderman Steve Mac Swain, the sole “no” vote, expressed concerns about the pool project and how it fits in with the rest of the site.

“First of all, I want us to have a pool. But it doesn’t matter how many hundreds of thousands we spend on design if we place it in this spot. It’s not going to be the right design. It ignores the needs of the park, the zoo, and the utility,” he said.

Marshfield Utilities will continue to share the site with the pool and build its own new facility.

“They’ve asked for time to make a decision. They indicated to us that they want to cooperate with us on the construction so there wasn’t a conflict. They deserve the time to make that decision. They pay their own way,” he said.

Alderman Tom Buttke said, “I don’t totally disagree with what Mr. Mac Swain is saying, but I have to go back at what this motion is looking to do. It’s to design the pool. It’s a 6-month design process before bidding the design in February.”

“We should do it, but we shouldn’t do it on the exact same site, which is what we’re asking them to design for,” said Mac Swain.

Alderman Tom Witzel said, “I would love to see a bigger picture but I think this is the footprint that begins it. I understand your concept to develop the outer area, and then put this in. I think we put this in, then develop the outer area. Either way it’s got to get done and I think now is the time. We already have people that are fundraising for this.”

“This council along with the pool committee that was selected back in 2017 did due diligence,” said Alderman Rebecca Spiros. “We looked at site after site. We reviewed at least 20, 25, 30 sites. I looked at my old emails and as far as the Marshfield Utilities, they have had plenty of time to make their decision. I have an email dated June 14, 2017 that says at last night’s Common Council meeting, the council recommend city staff to meet with Marshfield Utility about the Hefko site.”

“It wouldn’t need to be delayed at all,” said Mac Swain. “I want a big picture, not a ‘this has to be done first.’ I want a big picture thing so everyone benefits including the pool, so that it can deliver the way that it has been promised to deliver.”

Mayor Bob McManus expressed that he understood what Alderman Mac Swain was saying, but he thought it was too late in the process.

“I’m not saying delay it, I’m not saying even move,” said Mac Swain. “I’m saying make the adjustment on the site to account for the other things. Do what makes sense.”

“Out in the community people are asking me are we going to get a pool. I said yes,” said Buttke. “There’s doubt out there. That’s not going to help with the fundraising if they don’t know we’re going to get one. Let’s get this going here.”

“Again, I’m not saying delay, I say do it right,” said Mac Swain.

The Council approved the item 8-1.