City Looking to Replace Water Mains at Potential $75 Million Dollar Cost

Marshfield doesn’t have a “stairway to heaven”, but it does need to get the “lead” out.

The Options:

The City of Marshfield has a tough decision to make regarding its water mains.  Marshfield has some mains that still contain lead, which they would like to replace.  There is no reason to hit the panic button (as we are not the next Flint, Michigan).

Our water is tested regularly, and it’s fine,” said Steve Barg, Marshfield’s City Administrator, in a recent episode of Council Preview on Marshfield Community Television.

It is, however, of great concern to the City and its Council.  Replacing the water mains comes with a hefty price tag: $75 Million dollars.

It’s not the kind of money you raise from a brat fry, a car wash, or a bake sale,” Steve said.

One of the main reasons it is so expensive is because not only do the water mains underneath need replacing, but also the roads above them.  Marshfield Utilities wanted to apply for a rate increase through the Public Service Commission, but the PSC is not sure that is the best course of action.  They instead suggest the City give the Utility a break on their payment in lieu of taxes or “PILOT” payment.  While this would help the City raise some money for the mains, it would also raise more budgetary questions in the City without those monies coming in.

It’s clear that something has to give and this item is going before Marshfield’s City Council on January 10th at 7:00 pm for preliminary discussions.

(For those who can’t attend, the meeting can be watched live or in re-broadcast at

For the whole story, watch below: