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Wausau news for Sept. 29, 2022
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misstated that the minimum assessed value of the project.
The The controversial mall project that would bring 150+ apartment units to the city’s downtown got the OK this week. The city council by a 6-3 vote (with two council members absent) approved the development agreement at the end of a 3 1/2 hour meeting.
The $44 million project (of which only $24 million of assessed value is guaranteed) will cost the city $10.8 million in tax incentives (including interest and fees). City officials say that money, which will be paid after the project is completed, will be generated by the project itself.
The project is scheduled to begin March 2023, and be completed by April 2024. Mayor Katie Rosenberg had strong words for the developer, T. Wall, which only earlier this year threatened to sue the city over its failed deal with the city on Riverlife. “That made me really mad and want to tear things up,” Rosenberg said at the end of Tuesday’s meeting. “And I did tear things up, actually. There will not be any lawsuits against the city while we’re in this relationship.”
The project has been popular with business leaders and other downtown stakeholders, but in a City Pages reader survey, respondents named it number one of the worst new development or thing.
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The city council put the kibosh on a proposed fence around areas of the Scott Street bridge. Proponents say it would protect people from falling in the river but opponents say it unfairly targets the homeless encampments that populate that area under the bridge. The council voted 5-4 in favor of the project but it failed because budget modifications require a 2/3 majority.
City leaders approved the city’s portion — roughly $160,000 — of an $800,000 bike/pedestrian trail for the business campus. The trail would run along 72nd Avenue from Stewart Avenue to International Drive and is meant to encourage more walking as well as biking to work.
Around the metro
A body found in Rib Mountain in August has been identified. Police say 74-year-old Robert E. Wenitschka was homeless and a Vietnam War veteran. Wenitschka had no ties to the area, and hadn’t had contact with his relatives in Indiana and Illinois for decades. Police officials say he will be buried with full military honors.
Schofield is mulling two proposals for its city hall building site, which city officials plan to vacate. Lokre Companies proposed 100 apartment units and 30 condos for the site, along with public space and a number of unique features such as communal kitchens and yoga rooms for shared community experiences. S.C. Swiderksi proposed apartment buildings for the site, with nearly 100 units including public space and community rooms. City leaders will review the proposals and look at them again in a couple of weeks.
Longtime business 50/50 Factory Outlet has closed. The Schofield business provided party supplies for more than 40 years. The business’s owners said inflation and the COVID pandemic were key reasons the store went out of business.
Austin Lokre with Lokre Companies told city leaders in Schofield that the company is partnering with Tine and Cellar to put Wausau’s first rooftop bar on top of the new Bantr luxury rentals on Elm Street. Bantr is an interesting company and I plan to look into it more. They offer high-end daily, monthly or even one-year leases and they look pretty luxurious. (CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misstated the business Bantr is partnering with.)
Saturday, Oct. 1: The Station, originally begun as Thompson Station, has been on a tear since its formation a couple of years ago. This month the band came out with their first EP, WeEP, and are planning a rocking album release party 8 pm at Whitewater Music Hall. It’s always cool when a local band put out an album, and who needs an excuse to party at Whitewater! Check out the event page for more details.
Sunday, Oct. 2: I mean, you really don’t see stick ponies around much - but Willow Springs’ Harvest fest is your chance! Besides the activity that has children riding around on ponies made of broom sticks, the kiddos can enjoy games, face painting, a huge craft tent and so much more. Check out Willow Springs’ event page for the full list.
Wednesday, Oct. 5: It’s no surprise that Wausau’s mayor loves animals. She actively invites them to her office and posts about their visits on social media. (Even my golden retriever, Abby, has tagged along on an interview. People tell her everything!) As part of the Moving with the Mayor series, Mayor Katie Rosenberg is inviting folks to bring their bow-wows for a walk at Sunnyvale Park. Starts at 5 pm. See the event page for more details.
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.
Girls Tennis: Wausau West finished its season on top of the Wisconsin Valley Conference with a perfect 6-0 record. The Warriors head into the Wisconsin Valley Conference meet today, along with area schools Wausau East (4-2) and D.C. Everest (1-5.)
Boys Soccer: D.C. Everest heads into the playoffs with a perfect 7-0 record in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens handed second place Wisconsin Rapids its first loss in a 2-1 win Thursday to secure the top conference spot. Pool play begins Oct. 4.
Football: A win last week helped Wausau West hold on to second place in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Warriors defeated SPASH 27-17 last Friday, bringing them to a 2-1 record. The Warriors head to Appleton West (1-3) Friday.
Volleyball: D.C. Everest is second place, the best of the area teams in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Evergreens (4-2) lost to Wausau East (2-3) in five sets last Thursday. Everest heads today (Thursday) to SPASH (4-2), which it is tied with in second place.
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