Council Preview of February 14 Meeting

Council Preview – Agenda Highlights

In each week preceding a Common Council meeting, City Administrator Steve Barg highlights what is on the upcoming agenda. Common Council meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at 7:00pm in City Hall Council Chambers.

Agendas are available on the City of Marshfield Website. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Meetings are live-streamed on Charter Cable Channel 991, and online. Council Preview can be viewed on Marshfield Community Television (MCTV).


These are expected to be the highlights of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting:

FINANCING THE NEW CITY HALL

Overview: It will cost money to renovate and move to a new City Hall building, but the City has options to pay for this.

  • The Council will discuss the potential for securing bonding with CDA, and the CDA’s potential role in that process

DEBT DISCUSSION

Overview: The City’s debt has inched up in recent years, but is still at a comfortable level.

  • A significant share of recent borrowing has been for economic development projects, where the City sees a return on that investment
  • The City’s goal is to take care of infrastructure, along with select special projects as approved by the Council; to balance amenities with the day-to-day maintenance
    Wisconsin has state regulations for how much a City can legally borrow, based on 5% of the City’s equalized value
  • The City of Marshfield is currently at 62% of that State limit
  • The Common Council has self-imposed limits that are more severe than the State, limiting themselves to 65% of the state limit.
  • The City borrows, on average, $3 Million/Year, with the majority going towards street projects.
  • Additional borrowed money goes towards Wildwood/McMillan Connector Trail project (which is reaching its conclusion) and University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County projects (of which the City partners with the County to help finance)
  • The City is paying off more principal than they borrow, which is good news
  • Taxpayers will not see a change in the tax rate

Bottom Line: The City is in financially good shape.

AMBULANCE BILLING OUTSOURCING

Overview: The City might consider outsourcing ambulance billing.

  • The City employs a part-time person to handle 50% of ambulance billing duties, with the other 50% being part of a full-time employee’s duties.
  • The part-time employee is retiring, providing an opportunity for discussion to change the current setup
  • The City might consider outsourcing this process, as other Cities do
  • Before recommending outsourcing, the Finance, Budget, and Personnel committee would like to see the cost benefit to doing so
  • Concerns include the level of service that might be lost if the process is outsourced

COMMUNICATIONS

Overview: The City would like to appoint a committee to evaluate how to more effectively communicate

  • The committee would evaluate how the City is communicating now, and how to improve
  • The committee would discuss how to use MCTV moving forward
  • The committee would be composed of 7-9 citizens

CITY LEGAL SERVICES

Overview: The City will bid out legal services for the first time in 6 years, as a matter of good business practice and not due to any issues with the current provider

  • Harold Wolfgram, of Wolfgram, Gamoke & Hutchinson, serves as current City Attorney for the City of Marshfield (and has for many years)

CLOSED SESSION

Overview: Closed session pursuant to Wisconsin Statue Chapter 19.85(1)(e)

  • Marshfield Professional Police Association discussion
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