Wood County Board Hears Update on UW System Reorganization

Wood County Board Hears Update on UW System Reorganization

At Tuesday’s Wood County Board Meeting, Dr Bernie Patterson, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, gave an update on the realignment of the two-year UW Campuses under the administration of the four-year school.

He stated, “We envision expanding programs on both campuses, both in Marshfield and Wausau.”

He also addressed the decline in students across the UW system: “Enrollment is down at Marshfield by 47% and in Wausau by 51% and we have had a significant drop in enrollment at Point. A big piece of this is there are fewer students graduating from high school.”

He also addressed future plans for UW Marshfield/Wood County: “We think this is a huge opportunity to bring forward graduate programs and four-year programs to the two-year campuses particularly at Marshfield in the sciences.”

In other action, the Wood County Board recognized the retirement of Wood County Extension Community Resource Development Director Peter Manley. Manley retired after 34 years in the UW-Extension Office.

The Board referred back to committee a resolution that would authorize the construction of a new cell tower on the UW-Marshfield/Wood County campus. The City of Marshfield, which co-owns the campus with the County, still has some concerns to work through with the developer and the County cannot adopt the agreement until the City and the developer work through their differences, according to Supervisor Donna Rozar, who chairs the UW Commission.

The County Board showed support for a new law being proposed in Madison that would create a grant program though the DNR to help with testing contaminated wells. The resolution was approved 18-1, with Supervisor Ed Wagner voting no.

The County is also asking the State to swap County Hwy A and State Hwy 80 due to changes in traffic flow with the upgrades to Hwy 10 and the new interchange at Hwy 13/Hwy10/Hwy A. The State Department of Transportation was set to do a feasibility study on the proposed switch, but the DOT never completed the study. According to the resolution, the Wood County Highway Commissioner compiled statistics that show Hwy A having a 63%-233% increase in traffic from 2011 to 2016 while Hwy 80 had a small decrease in traffic over the same time period. The resolution passed 19-0.

The County Board recognized two former county board supervisors that had passed away: Frank Veitschegger and Jack Kaiser.

The next meeting of the Wood County Board of Supervisors is on February 20 at 9:30AM at the Wood County Courthouse in Wisconsin Rapids.