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The River concert venue hits a snag | The Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for the week of Aug. 3, 2023
A new concert venue proposed for the north side of downtown called The River has hit a snag over a disagreement about who should pay for a feasibility study.
The city reached out to a number of firms that could perform the study, and narowed it down to three firms for VY Properties to select from. But when city leaders brought those proposals to VY Properties, Community Development Director Liz Brodek says, the venue proposers said they didn’t think they should have to pay for it.
VY Properties proposed building The River, a 3,500-seat concert venue somewhere on the downtown’s north side. They claimed it would sell 250,000 tickets per year, which a Wausonian analysis revealed would make it one of the top venues in the country of its size.
City leaders say they won’t pay for the study, which pretty much puts the venue dead in the water, unless they change their mind about funding the study. Brodek told The Wausonian that the study would have cost a total of roughly $50,000 but would have consisted of a roughly $35,000 phase I and a roughly $15,000 to save the developers on money in case they didn’t want to proceed and limit expenses.
What else in Wausau?
Brewery closing: An Oneida County committee voted to revoke Minocqua Brewing Company’s license, effectively shutting down the business. The committee then considered a beer garden permit request but after an hour discussing it delayed action, in yet another bizarre twist to what has been a bizarre story in the Northwoods. Earlier that day Bangstad organized a protest in which protestors read his statement, which was interrupted during last week’s meeting when it was abruptly adjourned. Bangstad also on Tuesday filed an injunction against Wednesday’s meeting, which was apparently not granted.
No appeal: The Wausau School Board elected not to overturn a decision Superintendent Keith Hilts made to reinstate Rob Perkins, a band director at Wausau East High School. Perkins was accused of making racist and homophobic comments to a Hmong student, but some band students disputed the account. The board made the decision after two closed-session meetings on the matter.
New Clubhouse home: Granite House, the new name for the former Community Corner Clubhouse that North Central Health Care shut down last year, could have a new home. Granite House founder Mike Frankel told The Wausonian that they’re likely to move into a new building on 8th Avenue by September. Granite House had been looking at a building on First Avenue but Frankel said the seller was unresponsive and difficult.
Emergency expansion: Aspirus Wausau Hospital is expanding its emergency department. Started Monday, the expansion will nearly double the number of emergency rooms and double the department’s overall space.
Around the metro
Ice study: Marathon County could study exactly what it would take to build a new ice arena. County leaders gave the first approvals to a $32,500 study that would look at where, when and how much it would cost to build a new ice arena on the city’s west side. Groups such as Wausau Youth Hockey and Wausau School district are helping pay for the study.
Announcement, shots fired: Tom Tiffany announced he would run for U.S. Congress again, and would not take aim at U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, but not without sending a few shots across the bow of the politician fans affectionately call “T-Ball.” Tiffany said Baldwin was vulnerable for being a “rubber stamp” for President Joe Biden but he felt his place is in Congress right now. Baldwin announced her re-election for U.S. Senate in April.
Friday, Aug. 4: Alastor Rose is starting to make a name for herself around these parts, playing at the excellent Levitt Amp series in Stevens Point and other spots around central Wisconsin. The Nashville artist has a powerful voice with a funky edge to it — that ought to make her appearance at Matt’s 101 Pub a fun one. Check out the Facebook event page for more.
Sat.-Sun., Aug. 5-6: A really fun day I like to embark on once in a while is taking a ride down to the farmers market on a Saturday, picking out a few things and then watching the kayakers do their thing at Whitewater Park nearby. You can do that this Saturday, and if you’re really adventurous, you can
try it out yourself with some lessons! …nevermind, the lessons are all sold out. But head on down to watch anyway! wausauwhitewater.org.
Sunday, Aug. 6: Pegasis is one interesting jazz act. Originally from the Dominican Republic, this Green Bay-based group has a fascinating sound that stops you in your tracks with its latin influence. This’ll be a fun addition to the downtown concert scene at Kickbusch Plaza behind the library. Check out River Valley Jazz Society’s Facebook page for more info.
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.
At Venado Cerveceria, it’s always wine time. Open 4-8 PM Tue - Thur & 4 - 9 PM Fri & Sat. Located at 209 Grant Street, downtown Wausau.
College baseball: The Wausau Woodchucks’ second-half slide has only grown steeper as the Chucks drop their latest to Madison Mallards Tuesday 3-1. That loss marks now eight straight for the Chucks, who now round out the bottom of their division in the Northwoods League. The Chucks finished second place in their division in the first half of the season. Wausau will need to turn things around before the regular season ends on Aug. 12.
Mountain biking: Josh Bauer won the 24-hour solo competition at the Wausau24 mountain bike race this weekend, with 19 laps in the 24 hours. On the women’s side, Lynne Senkerik won the race with 11 laps, two more than the second-place finisher. Wausau24 sees racers compete to see who can complete the most laps within 24 hours, or in less time in the shorter races. See the complete list of results here.
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