City solar array on hold | The Wausonian
Wausau News for the week of Dec. 9
A solar panel system that’s drawn some controversy is on hold in order to better address concerns of the neighborhood and see about additional funding.
The city’s Water Commission Tuesday voted to hold off on plans for a solar array to power the city’s new drinking water treatment plant. The panels were planned for an area nearby the plant on Bugby Avenue.
The city is considering three different options: panel arrangements that would cover 40%, 60% and 90% of the water plant’s energy needs. One hangup: only the 90% option would pay for itself, but that also means the most trees would come down on the lot, something that has irked neighbors.
Water commissioners say there could be ARPA and Build Back Better funds available to help with solar installation. That could help improve the financial picture on other options.
The commission also opted to form a citizen work group to take into account concerns of the neighbors.
This week The Wausonian got the inside scoop on how law enforcement got a conviction in the 15-year-old Kenneth Juedes murder. This one was available to everyone but most posts like it are for paid subscribers. Consider becoming one today!
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What else in Wausau?
City leaders Tuesday approved an affordable housing plan for the former Westside Battery site. The near west side site would become a four-story complex with 50 units of affordable housing. The company building them, Gorman and Co., also is renovating The Landmark building.
The city will receive some relief for the July storm that wreaked havoc on the Wausau area. City leaders estimated the damage at $26,000, and will receive half that amount. Omro, Tomahawk, Watertown and Ripon also received state relief.
City leaders this month should see plans developed by environmental engineering firm REI to clean up Riverside Park. Earlier testing found furan and dioxin contamination on the site, something advocates have been pushing to get cleaned up.
Former Alderman Gary Gisselman, historian and retired librarian, has put his name in the ring for city council again. Gisselman served as city council member before stepping down in 2020. Jim Wadinski currently serves in that district. So far, Deb Ryan, Lisa Rasmussen, Becky McElhaney and Michael Martens declared they are running, and Pat Peckham filed non-candidacy papers.
Around the metro
The county’s ADRC Director has been tapped for a role at the state health agency. Jonette Arms left her post in November to become the assistant administrator for the Department of Health’s Public Health division. County Administrator Lance Leonhard told The Wausonian it was an honor for her to be named to the post. The county is currently recruiting for the position.
As of Wednesday morning, there are 12 contested county board races, already more than in 2020. Candidates have until Jan. 4 to file all paperwork. Current board members William Harris, Kelley Gabor, Ka Lo and Alan Christensen have filed non-candidacy paperwork. Harris is running for Marathon County Circuit Court Judge.
If you haven’t tried the chocolate at The Chocolate Shop, well, you’re missing out. Owned by Paul and Kristin Zaal, the shop serves chocolate imported from Holland that is somehow not nearly as sweet and more delicious than any chocolate you’ve ever had. Less sugar and coco beans from Africa instead of South America seem to make the difference, the Zaals say. Interestingly, The Chocolate Shop is the home of a wholesaling business for the couple — the retail side took off way more than they initially thought.
Remember Perkins? It’s been empty since 2019, but a new family restaurant is going into the building. Owner Ruffino Morales has renovated the interior and plans to call it the Pancake Garden House.
Minneapolis-based Tony Williams packs an acoustic punch, and he’s about to bring that punch to the stage at Malarkey’s 8 pm Friday. The indie-pop combo Williams brings is hard to ignore, and he’s quite the showman. It ought to be quite the show, combined with the photogenic stage at Malarkey’s.
It’s a treat whenever Danny Mitchell comes to town. The Stevens Point native moved to Nashville in 2008 but often returns for his holiday-themed show, this time 7:30 pm Saturday and 4 pm Sunday at the Woodlands Church in Plover. Mitchell, who currently plays piano, organ and background vocals for Miranda Lambert, will play his own arrangements of holiday classics along with the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Check out the Facebook page for details.
If you’re looking for something to keep the kiddos out of your hair this weekend, check out Christmas for Kids at the Wausau Conservatory of Music this Sunday. Live music, games and another chance to meet Old Saint Nick await your kids starting at 12:30 pm. (Don’t worry, the Packers don’t play until evening on Sunday.) And who knows, maybe they will get the bug to play an instrument? Check out the event page for more.
D.C. Everest and Wausau West girls basketball teams got off to a strong start with wins in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens defeated Wausau East 61-58 Tuesday, and the Warriors doubled up Merrill 62-31. They share the Valley Conference lead with Wisconsin Rapids.
Boys basketball kicks off Friday. Merrill heads to Marshfield at 7:15 p.m; Wausau West plays at D.C. Everest, 7:45 p.m; and Stevens Point takes on Wisconsin Rapids 8:15 p.m. in Rapids.
Merrill/East hockey lost its first game of the season, getting shut out by Marshfield 7-0. Merrill/East takes on D.C. Everest at the Greenheck Fieldhouse 7:30 pm tonight (Tuesday).
On the pod
This week on the Keep it Wausome podcast, I speak with Skylar Witte, a D.C. Everest grad and star in the Lionsgate release Last Shoot Out. Check out the interview on YouTube below or on your podcast app of choice!
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