City communications manager? No thanks, committee says | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for June 15, 2023
City leaders this week rejected the idea of the city hiring a communications manager to handle press releases, communication without outside residents and media and internally, and help with the new website.
Members of the Human Resources Committee sent the proposal packing, saying it represented an excess when residents of Wausau are struggling financially.
As committee member and council president Becky McElhaney put it:
I want to publicly state how much anxiety there is from residents about how they’re going to make it day to day.
That includes everything from the increased cost of living and rent due to inflation, to the major increases in Wausau water bills that started this year.
Others said a city manager or administrator makes more sense as a position, rather than just a communications manager. The comms job could have paid as much as nearly $85,000.
This week, The Wausonian published:
And an analysis of some of the numbers of the new proposed music venue in Wausau.
What else in Wausau?
MBX buy: City leaders are looking at buying MBX’s Cherry Street properties. The properties, at 901 and 1021 Cherry Street, could provide additional corridor space for the city’s riverfront trail or possibly development in that area. City leaders ago tried to get an easement on MBX’s First Avenue property but were unable to. City leaders considered the plan in closed session but adjourned without taking any action on the properties.
Mall delay: Wausau Opportunity Zone officials this week announced that the groundbreaking for the first Wausau mall redevelopment project has been pushed to spring of 2024. A number of reasons were cited, but chief amongst them is that “more time is needed to secure equity for the project.” Translation: They don’t have the money yet. Recall that The Wausonian reported that business leaders in April were contacted with investment solicitations, despite the fact that the project was supposed to have started in spring.
Brewing debt: City leaders approved Bull Falls Brewery’s upcoming equipment auction, but with a twist: Proceeds need to go toward paying back its debt to the city. The Wausonian reported that Bull Falls Brewery owes $300,000 to the city, and at the time was $15,000 behind on payments when it announced it was up for sale.
Around the metro
Fat biking forever: The county’s County Forest Citizens Advisory Committee last week recommended the county make permanent the winter fat biking season at Nine Mile Forest. CWOCC (area mountain biking club) partnered with the county to try a trial season last winter at the county forest and it was well-received, with most public comments coming in positive.
Administrative rejection: Kronenwetter rejected a new administrator candidate following a background check. Bradley Hanson, who served in similar roles in Tomah and Iowa, had been a finalist for the role but following a closed session the village board decided to keep on searching. Retired Village of Plover (Portage county) administrator Dan Mahoney has been serving as interim administrator but his contract expires soon.
Building sold: The Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau has sold its building at 227460 Shrike Avenue in Rib Mountain, CVB Director Tim White confirmed to The Wausonian. The building had been intended to be the CVB’s new headquarters but the building required too much work. White tells The Wausonian he can’t yet disclose who the buyer is until the sale is final.
Mission Coffee House closing: The Mission Coffee House, which opened up shop in the Lamplight Sessions space last year, will be closing up shop on July 29. But Lamplight’s owners say they have a plan for the building during the day, including a morning menu with drinks and food.
Friday and Saturday, June 16-17: Could this be Wausau’s next big event? The Wings over Wausau event is pretty new, meant to replace the Balloon Rally that moved out to the town of Stettin. And hey, about time we had an airshow! Children can enjoy games, a bounce house, a petting zoo, airplane displays, pilot meet and greets, a wing competition where participants will sample wings and vote for a winner. Plus on 5 pm Saturday Wings over Wausau will feature an airshow over the skies of the Wausau area. $5. Wing competition costs extra. Run the Runway 5k Saturday morning. Check out the event page for all the details.
Thursday, June 15: Something brand new is coming to the city: The Wausau Night Market! Meant to drive people downtown, this week begins the first of three night markets featuring a variety of vendors, including candle makers, artists, food makers (include a gourmet potato chip maker, a kombucha maker and a baked goods maker), soaps, jewelry, clothing; there’s just a fascinating array of different locally made products. 5-9 pm. See the event page for more.
Friday, June 16: The Tamaracks are a pretty incredible Texas blues act out of Tomahawk. Mix a little ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin together and you get a fun mix of hard-driving blues that’s just fun to listen to. The Tamaracks are making their way to Stoney Acres Pizza this Friday, which is a great excuse to kick back, enjoy a slice or three and listen to some music on the farm. Find out more at Stoney Acres’ website.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the family-oriented listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
Solstice Summit: Locals and out-of-towners alike took on the Ironbull Solstice Summit Challenge last weekend, sending runners up the steepest mile run in the Midwest. Evan Lewandowski won the regular challenge, Craig Woolley of Appleton won the rucking challenge and Corey Thompson of Hatley won the Triple Bypass. On the women’s side, Amanda Sahr of Wausau won the main event, Sandra Ferg-Weisner of Wausau won the rucking comp and Kristi Hittner of Kronenwetter won the Triple Bypass.
College baseball: The Wausau Woodchucks took an early lead Tuesday night but we’re unable to fend of the Green Bay Rockers, losing 6-4. The Chucks lost back to back games against the Rockers, but the Chucks remain in winning territory with a 9-7 record. The Woodchucks host the Rockford Rivets tonight (Thursday), 6:35 pm at Athletic Park.
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