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The $10.8 million decision | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau News for Sept. 15, 2022
Correction: The $10.8 million of city incentives is only for the first project on block four. That was confusing to some readers.
Members of the city’s Economic Development and Finance committees approved a development agreement Tuesday that includes $10.8 million of tax incentives toward one of two apartment projects for the site.
Some facts of the proposal:
T. Wall Enterprises would build two apartment complexes on the former mall site, bringing more than 300 apartment units downtown.
City leaders say only 3-5% of Wausau’s residents live near downtown, and healthy downtowns require 12-15% of its population nearby.
The apartments range from $800 to $2,879, from studio to three-bedroom.
The developer, T. Wall Enterprises, is asking for $10.8 million in reverse tax incentives toward the first project. They get paid when the projects are completed. (Correction: An earlier version didn’t make it clear that this was only for the first building.)
Area employers say the housing is needed to help attract a new workforce. That comes as the talent shortage continues nationwide.
Though TIF prevents the increase in tax increment from going to various entities such as the school district and the technical college system, leaders from both of those entities said they support the project. (That’s why the state says that municipalities shouldn’t have more than 12% of its value locked in TIF districts.)
One committee member voted against it — Tom Kilian on the Economic Development Committee voted no Tuesday.
The city council will make its final decision Sept. 27.
This week I’ve opened up the first post of the Big Trouble in Little Kronenwetter series for everyone to read. There are now five parts to the series as well as an additional story.
What else in Wausau?
The city ended up having unspent CARES Act money. Apparently, the city was unable to find local small businesses to accept the third round of CARES Act funding, which provides relief to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Now it appears the city will return the money (or, at least, not accept it) so it can go to another city.
An analysis of a new city fleet maintenance facility drew controversy because one site included by the city’s consultant, 1300 Cleveland Avenue, was removed from the list. CISM Committee member Lisa Rasmussen blasted chair Lou Larson for removing the site and not allowing the public and committee to see the information, though council member Tom Kilian said the site should never have been considered anyway per an earlier council decision.
The Wausau School Board replaced former member Ka Lo, who resigned via press release earlier this year. Cory Sillars, president of the Wisconsin Builders Association and a master electrician, was selected from four candidates on Monday. Sillars was immediately sworn in.
Driver shortages are leading to some Wausau school bus routes being canceled. As of Monday 12 routes were canceled and more are expected as city and school bus services continue to struggle to find drivers.
Wausau School officials this week approved starting a outdoors-based charter school. The schools proponents cited a study that at least 150 parents said they were ready to enroll their students in the new school when available. The charter school’s founder can now apply for a grant that would help fund the school. A site has not yet been selected.
Police investigated a potential threat to Wausau West High School Wednesday. According to district officials, a student shared with police a social media post that made threats to “West” — it turned out schools throughout the state with “West” in their name received the same threat. Wausau West had increased police presence on Wednesday due to the potential threat.
Around the metro
A village of Weston intersection could soon become a roundabout. A joint committee on Monday approved the design of the roundabout, which would be at Weston Avenue and Ryan Street. The design would cost $36,000.
Friday, Sept. 16: Billy Bronsted is my favorite local country musician (I mean, true, there aren’t that many, but he’s great!) and Tae and the Neighborly is a great Appleton-based R&B/Rock band that’s started to tour nationally. They’ll be sharing a stage at Whitewater Music Hall this Friday, so it’s a great chance to see both of these acts in one place! Check out the event page for more info.
Saturday, Sept. 17: Are you a fancy, cultured person? Or would you like to at least appear that way? (I probably fall into the latter category.) The Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra will be playing downtown at 2 pm and tickets are my favorite price: free. This show will be a salute to all things Broadway, so you’ll recognize a lot of the music even if you’re not a classical music person. More details on the Facebook event page.
Friday, Sept. 16: Of course, if you’re a big spender, the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization will host its annual Big Taste event, which raises funds for the non-profit. Expect some fancy food and adult beverages while supporting the local young ones. It’s a little steep at $85 a pop but goes to a worthy cause.
Looking for kids/family events? Check out the full listing from The Wausonian’s partner Wausau Mama, who puts together a weekly listing of children/family activities.
Wausau West Football is still undefeated as it shares first place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference with Marshfield. The Warriors did so with a forfeit win against Wausau East, which elected not to yield a football team this year. West hosts Marshfield 7 pm Friday, meaning afterward only one of the teams will still be undefeated.
In girls volleyball, it’s D.C. Everest sharing the top spot in the conference with Marshfield. Both teams are 2-0. Everest defeated Wisconsin Rapids in straight sets last week to remain unbeaten. The Evergreens head to Marshfield today (Thursday), setting up a battle of the undefeated.
Wausau East and West are setting up a cross-town rivalry in girls tennis, with both teams at the top of the Valley Conference at 4-0. West beat Everest 6-1 on Tuesday and East beat Rapids 4-3. West and East will put their cross-town rivalry to the test today (Thursday), sending one of the teams home with its first defeat. East will host that match.
D.C. Everest Boys Soccer are currently undefeated in the Wisconsin Valley Conference at 2-0, with Wisconsin Rapids sharing the top spot. Everest shut out West 3-0 last Thursday to gain its second conference win. The Evergreens head to Marshfield (1-1) today (Thursday).
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