Marshfield Rotary Noon Club
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Marshfield Rotary Noon Club.

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Rotary Member of the Week
Jerry Nelson
Jerry was born and raised in Superior and lived there for 42 years. He started out in the railroad business before beginning a 32 year career in the Postal Service in 1956. Jerry worked in Appleton, Richland Center, & Monroe before coming to Marshfield as our Postmaster. While in Richland Center, he became a charter member of that city’s Rotary Club in 1980. The District Governor at that time was John Cross of Marshfield. Jerry says he was one of the original Marshfield Rotary drivers for Home Delivered Meals. He has been secretary of Marshfield Rotary Club since 1988 or ‘89. He has also served on the City Council for 18 years and on the town board for 18 years. He and Mary have been married for over 50 years, have 6 children, 13 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and two more on the way.
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2017 Comprehensive Plan Update
Josh Miller is Marshfield’s City Planner. Josh said that the Comprehensive Plan is a master plan that allows the City to look at future development projects, street projects, and infrastructure planning. It’s the critical plan for how we grow the community. A Comprehensive Plan has nine required elements. (A complete list and all details may be found on the City's website.) One of them is “Issues and Opportunities.” Opportunities to build on include living wage jobs, a vibrant downtown, an expanded trail system, a safe community, and a great educational system. Among the issues are inadequate daycare, potholes, lack of housing operations, an aging population (young adults are not returning), heavy truck traffic on Central Ave., and not enough activities for youth. From 2000 to 2010 the median age in Marshfield increased from 39.4 to 41.3, a cause of some concern. The state DOA projects Wood County households to be about the same and population to be less in 2040 than currently.

Josh told us about the new “Geo Reporting” system the City has initiated that features an interactive map allowing anyone to report problems (such as potholes, non-functioning street lights, etc.) on an interactive map using a computer or smart phone. The report is directed to the appropriate department and should result in quicker action and improved city services.

Only about 10% of the housing stock has been built since 2000. Only about 1/3 of our residents lived in their current homes prior to 2000, indicating fairly high mobility. 60% of occupied housing units are owner occupied and 40% renter occupied, which is a fairly good balance, Josh said. There are about 200 residential lots developable and available. That sounds like a lot, but they may not always be where people would like to build.

The City has 143 miles of roads. Not including on-street parking, there are over 600 parking stalls in the public parking lots in the downtown. Street parking adds about another 800 stalls. Marshfield’s average commute time is about 40% less than the state average (15.3 minutes compared to 21.3). People have complained about Central Avenue north of Arnold St. That is a state highway and the state is planning a resurfacing project in 2019. North Wood County had 73 childcare providers in 2010 but that number has dropped to 43. Marshfield has ample room for industrial development with 194 acres available in three industrial parks. Josh said that cost, rural development, and natural resources are the biggest hurdles for future growth in Marshfield.

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P.O. Box 463 - Marshfield, WI 54449