Town Board Meeting
Town Board Meeting
The Town of Pacific is located in the western part of Columbia County abutting the southeast corner of the City of Portage with the Wisconsin River as its western boundary. The Fox River flows through the northern part of the Town from east to west through Swan Lake. Duck Creek flows from east to west through the central area. With all the flowages in close proximity it leaves much of the Town in wetlands, resulting in an abundance of flora and fauna. Pacific; meaning calm, peaceful, amiable ….. that aptly describes our community.
The Town came into being in 1854 when it was sectioned off from the City of Portage. A large portion of the Town, at that time, was owned by N. H. Wood. Mr. Wood constructed a plank road from the east side of Portage to the high ground on the west and he charged a toll for those who crossed the low marshland in this manner. The Old Plank Road was made of heavy oak planks laid in ‘corduroy fashion’ along the Wisconsin River and connected with the Military Road to the east and west.
The Military Road connected Fort Crawford at Prairie Du Chein, Fort Winnebago in Portage and Fort Howard at Green Bay. The building housing the North Star Tavern at the intersection of US Highway 51 and North Star Road is an historic structure as it was the Old Coach Inn on the Military Road.
Mr. Wood became the first Chairman of the Town in an election in which 50 votes were cast. In 1875 the population of the Town was 249; in 1970 it was 756 and in 1980 it was 1,215. Today the Town of Pacific population is in excess of 2,500 with a population that exceeds most villages in Columbia County though it is the smallest Town in size.
The Unimin Corporation is located on US Highway 51 and Dunning Road. The Corporation has 36 employees and produces silica sand which is distributed to the upper Midwest states and into parts of Canada. This business was started in the early 1900’s with Unimin purchasing it from Martin Marietta in 1983. The company owns about 850 acres, with 200 acres set aside for green space and wildlife enhancement. The sand is used by foundries in the making of castings and molds and also in the production of fiberglass and glass containers; with Cardinal FG in Portage using the silica in the manufacture of sheets of glass.
Columbia Generating is located in the western part of the Town. Unit One of the plant went online in 1975 and Unit Two followed in 1978. Seventy plus tons of coal are used each week in the preparation of generating electricity and 120 persons are employed in that operation. To cool the water used in the electricity producing process a four hundred and fifty acre lake was constructed which is used by the public for fishing as it has been stocked by the DNR.
The DNR owns over 2,000 acres of land in the Town of Pacific, most of which are in the Swan Lake Wildlife Area. This land is governed by state regulations and is available year-round for the enjoyment of the public.