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Wausau examines parks funding, structure

Wausau City Hall
Wausau City Hall

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A proposal to change the way Wausau's Park Department works will be getting a second look this week.

Alderman Bill Nagel asked the city's Park and Rec committee to examine the current partnership with the county parks department. He says there could be cost savings involved by instead partnering with other municipalities rather than the county. “The city and the county have different park needs. The city has urban needs like pools and ball diamonds, rather than the county forests and trails.”

Nagle is proposing to either partner up with other municipalities like Weston or Schofield, or to pull parts of the Parks Department into the Public Works Department.

Parks and Rec Chair Ed Gale says the move isn't out of the question. “The two sides really are different animals.” Some concerns about the plan would be how to handle training for public works employees to make that switch, and where the funding would go in any changes to the department structure of the city.

The city and the county parks departments will get back to the council about cost estimates for the various plans before the next meeting of the committee.