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Marshfield Common Council Discusses Lack of Bathrooms at New Wenzel Family Plaza
Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 -- 9:36 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director


(WDLB) -Marshfield aldermen are continuing to discuss the lack of permanent restrooms at the city's new Wenzel Family Plaza downtown.

Alderman Rebecca Spiros was disappointed the bathrooms didn't make the cut in the final design as the plaza was planned out--especially since the plaza features a splash pad for kids.

"So, I have concerns about where they'll change their children. If we do have food trucks, I'm assuming these food trucks do not come with bathrooms, but often when people eat they need to use the bathroom at some point in time, within a couple hours of being at the plaza. My understanding is that we've jumped into the idea of port-a-potties, which I find disgusting."

Downtown business and property owner Erin Howard, who is also a member of the Wenzel Plaza Committee and the immediate past President of Main Street Marshfield, said a local company has agreed to donate port-a-potties for the remainder of the summer while her committee and the city discuss other options for the future, such as a higher-grade portable bathroom or permanent restroom facilities.

"The fact that we don't have public restrooms, is not because the city was incompetent and they just didn't think of it. They were in the initial plans. Unfortunately, when budgets were cut, I don't want to speak on behalf of the decisions that were made. I mean, if it were up to me, obviously, I would have permanent, public bathrooms. I don't want to dismiss the private investors. I know a lot of people focus on the naysayers, but there are a lot of positive people that want this plaza and they wouldn't have raised as much as they did. I'm a big believer in if you build it and they will come. I'm noticing that in the businesses that are reaching out to me. The food trucks that are coming and want to come here. We have a group from California that want to do an event here. I mean, we're getting a lot of great feedback. If I would have focused on all the naysayers on that 2nd Street Corridor, I would not have purchased that property, we would not have another restaurant and I wouldn't be bringing in 8 other businesses downtown."

Howard also said the Wenzel Plaza Committee talked to Wausau officials about that city's 400-Block, and they advised against permanent bathrooms--sighting the need for a bigger number of restrooms to accommodate events with larger crowds. And Howard said downtown businesses should want to take advantage of the additional foot traffic that the plaza will generate.

"And I understand that some actually have bathroom signs saying don't use our bathrooms. And then are some that actually say, go ahead and use are bathrooms, there's a clearance rack right behind you. Ideally, I am hoping that a year from now, the council will have to make a decision of bringing in permanent bathrooms. I think it's a good problem to have, because then that means our plaza is successful. And I'm hoping, and this is just my hoping, that there's over 250 businesses downtown and I'm hoping they'll take advantage of that foot traffic and allow people to come in."

The Council will revisit the restroom issue once the summer season comes to an end, and they have some initial data to go on, regarding usage of the new plaza. The Wenzel Family Plaza has a ribbon-cutting celebration set for July 11th. Its opening coincides with Farm Technology Days in the Marshfield area July 10th, 11th and 12th.

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