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City spends $800,000 on lots for next fire department building | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Nov. 9, 2023
City leaders approved spending $800,000 on two lots a little further south on Grand Avenue that will house the future Fire Station No. 1, replacing the current one at Thomas and Grand.
But that purchase, set to close Nov. 15, came with a bit of controversy.
City Council Member Gary Gisselman called for the purchase to go before the city’s Capital Improvement and Streets Maintenance Committee. He says that committee should have been able to weigh in on the purchase. Instead it handed an enormous amount of power to the Finance Committee.
But, Finance Chair Lisa Rasmussen said, the purchase went through the capital improvements process as other capital expenditures have, and Finance just approved the financing.
The debate went on for maybe 45 minutes in what otherwise was a pretty light agenda. And it points to broader concerns some council members have around transparency and process, and concerns other members have around making the city look bad and become a target for critics.
Either way, the new station isn’t coming too soon. There are other projects coming before it, city leaders say. But securing the land which is in a good spot for the fire department was important, they say.
But The Wausonian dug into land records and found the last assessed value of 815 Grand Avenue, listed as this year, was $378,000. And 811 Grand Avenue does not show up as a separate property in the city’s assessment search.
This week The Wausonian took a deep dive into the investigation report by Everest Metro’s Police Chief. We pointed out a few things other media missed:
What else in Wausau?
RiverLife snag: Things seemed to be going pretty smoothly for local developer SC Swiderski’s latest project in the RiverLife development area. But then the project hit a few snags at the Parks Committee. Members of the Parks Committee saw plans for the 200-unit apartment building and they weren’t thrilled that the building butts up right to the River’s Edge trail. They sent a recommendation Monday that the city require a little more space between the trail and the building, which helps Parks maintenance folks work on the trial, says Parks Director Jamie Polley.
Around the metro
Taxes, taxes and more amendments: County leaders will consider their budget today (Thursday) along with amendments related to library spending, North Central Health Care debt and changes to Social Services funding. Check out The Wausonian’s breakdown from earlier this week and check back for how those amendments go.
Texas drilling: The town of Texas is considering a non-metallic mining operation by TRT Materials on a site in the town. The town’s plan commission considered a zoning change Monday to allow the mining operation, but residents in the town are concerned about the noise and traffic it will create. The Wausonian is working on gathering more information about this.
Tomahawk fire: A major structure fire took out Nacho’s Mexican Grill and the adjacent Century 21 office in downtown Tomahawk. Both buildings were gutted in the fire, which saw responses from Marathon County and 14 other fire agencies.
Kronenwetter administrator start delayed: Ole Kronnie just can’t catch a break. There were a few snags that are delaying Peter Kampfer’s start as Kronenwetter’s new administrator, replacing Richard Downey who left more than a year ago amidst a major staff exodus. Kronenwetter tapped former village of Plover administrator Dan Mahoney to help out from his Plover home. Mahoney helped stabilize the position as an interim, one of several to do so as Kronenwetter searched for a new administrator. Credit to WSAU’s Mike Leischner for the scoop.
Venado Cerveceria has expanded its incredible inventory to offer you an even more diverse and delightful array of choices in wine and spirits, bringing you the best! We invite you to experience the epitome of indulgence at our location, 209 Grant Street, Downtown Wausau. Operation Hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 4-8 PM Friday and Saturday: 4-9 PM. Our bar exudes a fantastic vibe that guarantees a memorable time. Step into a haven of relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you're winding down after a long day or looking to kick off a great night out, our welcoming atmosphere and outstanding selection promise an unforgettable experience.
Friday, Nov. 10: In case you missed it last time, the Wausau Belly Dance group Wild Trillium will be hosting an informal performance at Whitewater Music Hall, complete with the opportunity to try some of the dances out yourself. It’s also a potluck, so bring a dish to share (but no watermelon, avocados or mangos because some members are allergic). Plus, there’s always great beer on tap at the music hall, produced right on site. 6 pm. Free. See the event page for more information.
Saturday, Nov. 11: The Allen Brothers bring the heat - and I’m not just saying that because band leader Bob Allen is a former bandmate of mine. The group played outside of Malarkey’s during one of the downtown’s first Thursday events a few years ago, and the owner liked what he heard enough that he invited them to play the venue, rare for a cover band. The trio of Bob Allen, brother Brandon Allen and Wade Kaiser keep audiences delighted with their renditions of crowd favorites from the 60s through today. I rarely highlight a cover band on these pages but The Allen Brothers at bantr is a notable exception. 7 pm. Free, check out the website to reserve tickets.
Sunday, Nov. 12: Some people say Mark Twain was the original standup comedian. When Twain was active toward the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th, Twain as many of his contemporaries went on national lecture tours. But the difference is Twain was actually funny, and had audiences laughing in person as much if not more than his writing. Parker Drew in this production channels Twain’s performance at the Campanile Center for the Arts as much as possible, creating a fascinating show bringing Mark Twain to life. 2 pm. $27 adults, $15 children. Check out the Campanile’s website for more information.
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.
Most winter sports kick off their seasons in December, so keep an eye out for our coverage of boys and girls basketball, and boys and girls hockey starting next month.
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