Could Wausau revamp its downtown parking again? | Wausau news
The Weekly Wausonian for Oct. 27., 2022
A few years ago the city revamped its downtown parking to try to make it less confusing. All parking was changed to two hours, the fee structure was changed and the city made first-time tickets free to not put off new visitors.
But now the city is thinking about studying its parking again. Why? Because revenue from parking tanked. Finance Director MaryAnne Groat told city leaders that with downtown workers now working remotely, the city is bringing in far less money from parking.
The city also added more parking in front of the former mall site, providing more free options. That eliminates the need to pay in the city’s paid lots for short term visitors.
Any changes could rankle downtown business owners, who asked for the changes initially to make downtown more attractive. And, with the city about to embark on major downtown parking projects along with a new street grid, it comes at an interesting time. It will be interesting what a new parking study says the city should do, should the city commission one as suggested.
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What else in Wausau?
Taxes rising: If you’re a Wausau resident, your taxes are generally going to go up. Though tax rates for the county and school district portion of the bill are falling, the city’s are rising and increasing home values likely mean everyone is going to pay more. BUT, the city is still waiting for its equalized value data from the state, sources tell The Wausonian.
Around the metro
Frugal groceries: Weston’s new ALDI is set to open today (Thursday). That makes two stores from the German grocery chain in the area, joining Rib Mountain’s store. Find the Schofield Avenue ALDI store here.
Low-paid attorneys: County leaders are calling for the state to raise Assistant District Attorney pay. Right now it’s at about $26 — most surrounding starts are over $35 per hour. The move comes as the district attorney’s office is struggling to keep prosecutors — they often can find much better-paying jobs elsewhere and they have been. Three left the DA’s office in three month’s time for better pay.
This week in data
Enrollment drop: Enrollments in the Wausau School District are down once again. Enrollment dropped this year to 7,843, a more than 100 student drop. The biggest dip came in the fall of 2020 when the district had stricter COVID policies than most surrounding districts and parents open enrolled their students out. The numbers come from third Friday counts that are reported by every district to the Department of Public Instruction.
Thursday, Oct. 27: Tae and the Neighborly became one of my favorite local/regional bands last year when they played a wedding I photographed. They’re remarkably talented and Tae has a crazy powerful voice for such a small lady. The whole band is fantastic and I can see why a music venue owner would choose her band for his big day! Check out this bluesy R&B band at The Grand for its 10x10 series, which brings some great acts to the Grand’s stage. Cool thing here is they put tables and chairs on the stage and make the stage into a small venue. It makes for a cozy experience in a big hall. 8 pm. See the event page for full details and ticket info.
Thurs-Sat, Oct. 27-29: I mean, if you’re going to check out a corn maze, it ought to be haunted, right? Willow Spring is known for its seasonal events and this is its Halloween-themed one. You’re going to be navigating this spooky corn maze at night, and who knows what creepy crawly things will be lurking around the corner as you try to complete your quest. Yikes! It’s 7-10 pm Thursday and Friday and 6:30-10 pm Saturday… if you dare. Here’s the spooky event details.
Fri-Sunday, Oct. 28-30: I wanted to make a cool Spongebob reference here but I’ve never actually watched Spongebob. But for those of you who have, well you’re in for a treat! Watch this production from the Central Wisconsin Area Community Theater as they put on Spongebob The Musical. Spongebob Squarepants and friends must embark on a mission to save their home, Bikini Bottom, from destruction. Find ticket info and more here. (They even do interviews with cast members on their Facebook page.)
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.
MMA fighting: Rising Son martial arts school fighter Scotty Writz finished his latest fight in the LFA MMA organization last weekend. Writz earned the technical knockout in the first round, finishing the fight in 3 hours and 41 minutes at LFA 145 in Oshkosh. Check out the link to the finish, including the brutal left hook Writz used to drop his opponent: https://fb.watch/gp7iGiu8ql/
CORRECTION: A previous version of the above brief said it was Writz’s first LFA - he’s actually had several and is 6-2-0 as a pro, according to Tapology.com.
Football: Wausau West won its first-round playoff game against Wisconsin Rapids Friday. The Warrior sent them packing 28-14 to advance to the next round. They’ll take on No. 1-seeded Bay Port Friday at Bay Port. D.C. Everest lost its first round to Hudson 20-16.
Volleyball: D.C. Everest defeated its first-round opponent SPASH in four sets Thursday to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Evergreens fell Saturday to Chippewa Falls in three straight sets to end DCE’s playoff run. Wausau West and Wausau East lost their first-round matches Thursday.
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