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Did you know Wausau's contemporary art museum has been paying taxes? | Weekly Wausonian
The Wausau news for Nov. 3, 2022
Museums in general don’t pay taxes on their property. So The Wausonian was surprised to learn this week that the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art has been paying taxes pretty much since its founding.
WMOCA, founded by nationally reknowned artist David Hummer, emerged in the former Wausau Club building, a historic building that nearly fell to the wrecking ball. Hummer bought the building and renovated it, turning it into a world-class and world-reknowned contemporary art museum.
To protect the building, Hummer put it in an LLC instead of the non-profit, so they still had to pay taxes on it. (Despite then-Community Development Director Chris Schock telling Hummer that wouldn’t be the case, according to Hummer.)
City leaders corrected that error this week, allowing Hummer to transfer the museum building to WMOCA. Staff had recommended a pilot payment that would have been a little more than a third of the tax price, but Council Member Lisa Rasmussen said that wouldn’t be fair. Other museums in town don’t pay taxes, plus they get room tax revenue. WMOCA hasn’t applied for any.
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What else in Wausau news?
Library cancelation?: A showdown over library funding could be coming Thursday. The library made a decision about whether or not to ban Gender Queer, a book conservatives are upset about because of explicit scenes. The Wausonian dug out more information about the situation, which you can read here.
Affordable delay: City leaders this week gave Gorman and Company a one-year extension on building an affordable housing project on the former Westside Battery site. The timing didn’t work out last year for tax credits needed for the project, so the extension will help them the following year. The site has had a few projects fall through over the years.
Girl Scout shuffle: The regional Girl Scouts organization will be closing its Schofield office but investing more in its Wausau center, making it one of four regional centers. That’s part of a larger reorganization the organization is undergoing — including closing several camps. The closest, in Wisconsin Rapids, will only partially close.
Drunken apartment crash: Police this week arrested a man they say drove drunk into an apartment complex over the weekend. The 19-year-old man was taken to the hospital and then arrested following the incident at around 2 am Saturday. Amazingly no one in the west side apartment complex was hurt.
Pickup your own leaves: The city this week put out an announcement that delays with leaf pickup were due to bailer malfunctions. But the delays were probably a good thing; east side residents saw most of their leaves fall after the second and last phase of the pickup. City leaders then mentioned that the yard waste site is open extended hours. Translation: you’re on your own, so grab a rake.
Around the metro
Stiffing Saul: Kronenwetter leaders proposed stiffing their attorney over said attorney’s handling of the administrator’s departure. Board member Ken Charneski proposed three motions: one that essentially reprimanded the attorney over communication, one that would have only allowed attorney payments after review by a village committee; and a third that would have stiffed the attorney over a $15,000 bill. The village’s board rejected all three of the motions.
New administrator: The village of Rothschild has a new administrator. Ryan DeVanWalle was hired last month to replace Gary Olsen, who is now working at North Central Health Care. He is the village’s second administrator — prior to Olsen the village’s business was handled by the village president.
Paid subscribers read the full story behind a controversial book at the library and the decisions library leaders made, and they read the first in a new series asking well-known Wausonians about their favorite things.
The promised land: The Wausonian recently headed over to ALDI Weston, which opened last week. Not only is the store more spacious than the Rib Mountain location, it also has self-check-out stations. Village President Mark Maloney told The Wausonian that the store is one of three in the entire state with self-checkout stations.
Friday, Nov. 4: If you love Bluegrass, you can hardly do better than Whitewater Music Hall — they got you covered this Friday with Buffalo Galaxy and the River Valley Rangers. Both bands are up-and-coming stars in the genre and Whitewater says they will “come together to weave a fine, fast evening of flat-picking, foot-stomping, feverish pitches, and a little bit of psychedelia.” Sounds fun! And while you listen you can enjoy one of Whitewater’s beers, made right on-site. Check out the event page for ticket info.
Wednesday, Nov. 9: Do your kids play esports? (That’s video games, for the uninitiated.) Then you might want to bring them down to the E-Sports Gaming Night at NTC. A few years back the college built an esports arena and formed e-sports teams around some of the more popular games for that sort of thing. This event, aimed at 10-13 year olds, features Mario Kart and Smash Bros. and you can learn from NTC’s Smash Brothers coach on how to improve your game. See the event page for more details and registration.
Friday, Nov. 4: Apple Valley, Minn.-based painter JuliAnne Jonker has been working the canvas for most of her life, and has a passion for figure painting and texture. Come see her work at the D. Anthony Gallery starting Nov. 4 and running through Jan. 14. Meet the artists at a reception held at the gallery from 6-8 pm Friday, with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, and piano by Dan Larson. See the gallery’s page here, and check out more of Jonker’s work here.
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.
CORRECTION: In last week’s item about Scotty Writz, The Wausonian incorrectly reported that the fight Writz won was his first for LFA - it was the second LFA fight on his contract and he had other LFA fights before that contract. According to tapology.com, he is 6-2-0. Hopefully he won’t beat up The Wausonian for the error!
Football: Wausau West is now out of the tournament. The Warriors lost their Friday playoff game to Bay Port 35-14 to end the season.
Winter sports: Teams for winter sports can start practicing later this month and can start playing their first games after that.
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