Damakant Jayshi

The Department of Public Works on Thursday shared a preliminary proposal listing eight new sites under an existing feasibility study for its new facility maintenance shop, taking the total number to 10 such places that are being considered.

Only one of the eight properties is zoned as non-residential. If any of the seven other potential sites are selected for DPW’s operation, it would require rezoning the property to industrial, which could prompt resistance from property owners.

The alternative site plan, with details and maps, was shared by Public Works Director Eric Lindman with the Capital Improvements and Street Maintenance Committee during its meeting on Thursday.

The City Council approved a feasibility study for properties at 213-233 Myron St. and 400 Myron St. as potential sites to host the DPW fleet maintenance shop, under the rationale that the department needs a larger space. Of these, 400 Myron St. hosts the existing DPW operation. The council removed 1300 Cleveland Ave. from being considered after strong resistance from some members and residents.

The eight new sites under consideration include the existing Dept. of Public Works property on Myron Street and the current Marathon County Highway Department site on West Street, which is being vacated by the county. Other sites are located on Westwood Drive, Stettin Drive, International Drive, Stewart Avenue, County Road N, County Road Z – which is also Franklin Street – and the County Materials site on Winton Street.

Seven are greenfield sites, while the property on Myron Street is a brownfield. The properties vary in size, from 12 acres to 39.3 acres. Lindman said the DPW will require at least 10-12 acres for their facility.

For details click the CISM packet here. Details begin on page 36.

Lindman told Wausau Pilot & Review that vetting the properties will offer a clearer picture moving forward with respect to zoning.

“I am not sure what the current zoning of the properties we are considering,” he said. “The only property I know for sure is not residential would (be) the West Street location. I believe in the report it talks about if rezoning would be required for each site.”  

According to the plan, County Road N “would require contested rezoning approval” and County Road Z would require rezoning to industrial.

Wausau hired Barrientos Design, an architectural firm, to review locations for the placement of a new facility maintenance shop. 

After a brief discussion on Thursday, the CISM members decided to wait for the feasibility report before taking the next step.

Damakant Jayshi is a reporter for Wausau Pilot & Review. He is also a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of GroundTruth Project that places journalists into local newsrooms. Reach him at damakant@wausaupilotandreview.com.