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City streets around mall to undergo major changes | The Wausonian
Wausau News for July 15, 2021
The streets around the former Wausau Center mall could undergo some pretty dramatic shifts over the next year or so.
City engineers are working with Toole Design to redevelop Washington, Jackson, Second and Third Streets. As the mall comes down, many streets ending at the mall’s borders currently will be extended once again.
The streets will look quite a bit different — they will be 74-feet (streets are typically 65 feet or so), at least under the initial plans, with extra-wide sidewalks and pedestrian boulevards for vegetation along with room for dining tables or other amenities. The idea is to have a plaza-like experience downtown, says project manager Chuck Ghidorzi. All of the streets will have two-way traffic.
The mall is currently being demolished, and right now little more of the facade remains standing, up to the JC Penney building. Meanwhile, the city set aside $1.2 million in its budget for street improvements around the mall.
What else in Wausau?
Goatopia in Wausau is real. A city program brought in dozens of goats to Barker-Stewart Island for two weeks, where they will spend their days eating invasive species in the park. Wausau joins several Wisconsin cities in employing goats, who seem to be able to target invasive species specifically.
Further testing on the city-owned 1300 Cleveland Ave. site will cost another $98,500, city officials say. The city had been marketing the site to developers but slammed the brakes when word came down that industrial contamination likely plagued the site, which initial testing confirmed. The testing is likely to start next year, Public Works Director Eric Lindman says.
Around the metro
A plan to join city and county diversity committees left a sour taste in the members of both. The city’s Liberation and Freedom committee and the county’s Diversity Affairs commission met jointly and most favored increased collaboration but balked at joining permanently. The county’s Diversity Affairs Committee drew national attention and local controversy when its A Community for All resolution was rejected at a county committee, and became the subject of a New York Times write up. The Wausonian wrote extensively about that here: That time the NYT slammed Wausau.
A Marathon County Judge is expected to rule next month in a conflict between the city of Schofield and the owners of its mobile home park. The city is suing park owner Sustainable Resources, saying it didn’t renew its licenses and hasn’t paid taxes in 2018 and 2019. Sustainable Resources says they were never told about the license renewal, plus, you know, COVID-19 happened. A judge is scheduled Aug. 2 to rule on both cases. Schofield has had problems with multiple owners of the park maintaining their licenses and maintaining the properties.
Whitewater Music Hall is trying something new and interesting. The music hall started hosting a new series called Highway 51 Wood and Wire sessions starting at 7 pm Thursdays. The sessions bring a variety of musicians together for a jam. Whitewater’s owner sees it as similar to the old time radio shows with a variety of experienced musicians and guests musicians jamming out. Suggested $5 donation for the musicians. Check out the event page for more info.
Booze and Botany might seem like an odd combination (or a really awesome combination!) but that’s the name of the new event at Timekeeper Distillery in partnership with Monk Botanical Gardens. The event, held at the distillery starting 6 pm today, is a little on the pricy side at $45 for members and $55 for non-members, but brings a variety of pairings with dishes and crafted cocktails and beers. Pairings created by: Timekeeper Distillery, Red Eye Brewing Co., TBA & Whitewater Brewing, Hiawatha & Siren Shrub (non-alcoholic), Thrive Foodery & Great Northern Distilling. Each ticket gives participants five drink/food pairing tickets. Check out the event page for more info.
Got plans Saturday night? How about a movie - in the park? The village of Kronenwetter will host a screening of Tom and Jerry at Sunset Park starting at 8 pm Saturday (food will be served starting at 5 pm or earlier). Come enjoy a movie under the stars. See the event page for more details.
Wausau teenager Luke Fenhuas has been tearing up the world of motorsports, with a win at the Slinger Nationals and then taking second place at the Superstar Racing Experience, both last week. Fenhaus was close to winning the national NASCAR event too but was overtaken by Tony Stewart following a restart from a caution flag. The performance puts him in the national conversation for a potential NASCAR national spot down the road.
After a blistering start to the season, the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the second half have called to a 4-4 record, placing them fourth in the Great Lakes West region of the Northwoods League. The Chucks on Tuesday lost a barnburner 13-1 against the Lakeshore Chinooks. Wednesday’s game was likely rained out. The Woodchucks’ overall record still puts them in second place in the division, three games behind the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.
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