Marathon Co. looks to purchase land, build multi-department headquarters

WAUSAU, Wis (WSAW) -- On Thursday, the Marathon County Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved a proposal to purchase $2.2 million of property somewhere on Wausau's north side. If approved by the County Board in December, the county will build a multi-department facility to house several major departments in the next 10 years.

“The problem we are facing is that we don’t have a joint facility and having one person jumping around from facility to facility just isn’t going to work,” explained Brag Karger, County Administrator for Marathon County.

Karger says an independent study that evaluated the landscape of the county for the next 25 years proposed purchasing for the Highway, Parks, Maintenance, Medical Examiner and Emergency Management Departments to be housed in a centralized location. Karger says this will help the county operate more efficiency.

“It’s been a long negotiation process because there are a number of families involved in this,” added Karger.

The proposal identifies three area’s that would meet the needs of the county:

1) County Road U & N., 28th Ave. or County Road U, or a spot on the 1600 block of N. 28th Ave. Wausau
2) 7000 block of Stettin Drive
3) Highway O (County Materials-owned quarry in Marathon)

Karger says whichever one the board decides, the owners of the property would be paid in increments of $500,000 until the $2.2 Million is paid in full.

“I think this will pass. I think it’s a smart move and it serves a lot of objectives,” said Karger.

The county says the landowners are represented by a realtor and they are cooperating with the idea of the project.