Marshfield’s Issues & Opportunities Identified in Comprehensive Plan

Perhaps one of the most important documents in City Government is the Comprehensive Plan. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most under-appreciated. In this series, FOCUS will explain the importance of the Comprehensive Plan, why every citizen should care about it, and how to get involved in the process. Read Part I of the series here.

Chapter II of the Comprehensive Plan covers “Issues and Opportunities” in the City of Marshfield, and includes a community profile based on background information, including demographic trends, growth projections, and goals, objectives, policies, and programs that the City utilized in the development of the Comprehensive Plan.

“The information collected in the Issues and Opportunities chapter helps us to get an understanding of the demographics that make up Marshfield, as well as what some of the primary concerns are of the people of Marshfield,” said Josh Miller, City Planner.

State Statutes require a number of items to be included in a community’s comprehensive plan and in the Issues and Opportunities chapter, most of that is demographic information such as population, age, education, and income. This information provides a snapshot on the general makeup of the community as well as what the State population and household projections are for the next 20 years.

“The issues and opportunities identified in the public participation process help to provide guidance on what areas we focused on when developing the recommendations in each chapter,” he added.

Some of the opportunities identified include: short commute, large daytime population, economic clusters including medical spin-off industries, grow and develop along U.S. Highway 10, etc.

“It is important to look at these opportunities to see what the City can do to support efforts to capitalize on them,” said Miller, adding that some recommendations include more details like identifying land uses along U.S. Highway 10.

“While other recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan suggest following and updating existing planning documents that already provide some guidance on those opportunities such as the Downtown Master Plan or the Economic Development Action Plan,” he said.

Some of the issues identified include: poor road maintenance, fractured trail system, Hefko Pool, too many trains, etc.

“For many of the identified issues, the City can and will continue to work on them; however, the budget often limits how much can be accomplished in a given year,” said Miller.

In some cases, issues that were identified could also be considered opportunities.

“For example, one of the issues identified was that the business park was empty. Looking at it as an opportunity, we have ample room for future business park growth. So the process of identifying issues or concerns occasionally helped to spark ideas for where there are opportunities,” said Miller.

Though not all of the issues and opportunities can be addressed, Miller said that a lot was learned throughout the process.

“Overall, Marshfield does have a lot of growth potential and under the guidance of the Comprehensive Plan, the community looks to grow in a healthy and sustainable manner,” he said.

The Plan is available for review during regular business hours as the Everett Roehl Public Library and Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, in the City Clerk’s office on the 5th Floor of City Hall, or on the City website.

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