Wausau Schools move forward on $182 million referendum ask
Wausau news for the week of Dec. 16, 2021
The Wausau School District is moving forward on another referendum ask seeking $182 million to fix its schools. The money would go toward everything from basic maintenance, old floors, leaky windows and inefficient heating and cooling, to renovated fine arts centers and synthetic athletic fields.
The ask, which when finalized would appear on the April ballot, is the third in as many years. Previous asks also included some school consolidation and one would have closed Grant Elementary, a historic school. That set off a firestorm, especially since it was merging two schools with the most minority students into one large school.
All voted for the referendum except board member Ka Lo, who opposed it because she said the athletic fields are a want, not a need.
The Wausau School Board Monday voted to ask District officials to start working on the details to ultimately bring it to a final vote. The Wausonian will break down the referendum ask in more detail in a future issue.
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What else in Wausau?
Marathon County Board Member William Harris filed an ethics complaint against City Council Member Deb Ryan. The city council Tuesday voted to hire outside attorneys to investigate the complaint and advise the ethics board. According to a letter from Harris’ attorney, Ryan accused Harris of “illegally providing legal advice” to Mayor Katie Rosenberg, and tried to get Harris fired by his employer, Judicare. According to that same letter, not only did Harris not provide any advice, but doing so would not have been illegal. The Ethics Commission will meet today (Thursday) to begin the investigation.
The city council will see at least three contested races next year. Two challengers, Carol Lukens and John Kroll, will vie for District 1 after Pat Peckham announced he wouldn’t run again. Former Council Member Gary Gisselman will take on incumbent Jim Wadinski in District 5. And challenger Chad Henke will take on incumbent Deb Ryan in District 11.
Jon Creisher and James Bouche announced they would rerun for Wausau School Board. Creisher was elected last year to a partial term, and Bouche would seek his second term. A new challenger, Joanna Reyes, announced her run as well. And in November Kayley McColley announced her run for school board. Top three vote-getters in April will get seats.
Around the metro
MCDEVCO, a quasi-government economic development entity for Marathon County, recently announced it has a new director. Kimm Weber, who along with Dan Weber founded Timekeeper Distillery, became the new director Oct. 25. She replaces Vicki Resech, who quietly retired earlier this year.
Marathon County is considering partnering with Discover Wisconsin on an initiative called Uniquely Wisconsin. The cost to participate is $60,000, says Marathon County Administrator Lance Leonhard, and the county would get an extra marketing boost from Discover Wisconsin. And, the county is in talks with the Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau about splitting the costs, Leonhard says.
Greenheck Fan Corporation announced it has acquired Metal Industries, helping to make the company a one-stop shop for ventilation and adding 600 employees and several facilities to its arsenal.
There are some things that just signal the Holiday spirit and Christmas is upon us. The John Altenburgh Christmas Extravaganza is one of those events for the Wausau area. Swing on down to the Grand Theater at 7:30 pm Friday to see folks such as John Altenburgh, Mitch Viegut and more jam out in the spectacular of the season. See The Grand’s event page for more.
I’ve been a big fan of Bill Bronsted for awhile. So this chance to see him play the new Tucknee Coffee Company at noon Friday, with a cup of joe in hand, is hard to pass up. Bronsted’s Americana vocals and songwriting are a treat, and the Tucknee Coffee Company, the newest version of Patina Coffeehouse, will make the perfect cozy venue for this great musician. See the event page for more details.
Family Roadtrips: For this listing, I’m going to suggest two holiday road trips. 1. Check out story hour with Santa tonight at 6:30 pm at Bound to Happen Books in Stevens Point. It’s always good when you can get kids to read and hey, they’ll probably behave with Santa around. Too close to Christmas to chance any misbehaving. And 2. Check out the Rotary Winter Wonderland at Wildwood Park and Zoo in Marshfield. This crazy walking spectacular of festive lights is a must see and your kids will love it. (You can drive too, but believe me, you won’t see nearly as much.) They’re open pretty much every night of the week starting at 5 pm. It’s worth the drive.
The Wausau West Warriors hockey team is off to a blistering start, leading the Wisconsin Valley Conference 2-0. The Warriors beat Merrill/Newman/East 12-0, and shut out Everest 2-0. The Warriors host Wisconsin Rapids 7:15 pm Thursday.
Wausau West and D.C. Everest girls basketball teams are currently tied for second in the Wisconsin Valley Conference, each with a 1-1 record. Both trail Rapids in the standings. Everest started the Valley season with a 61-58 win over Wausau East and the Warriors got their win over Merrill, doubling them up 62-31 last week.
Wausau West boys swimming is currently tied with Rapids for second in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Warriors beat Everest on Thursday and shut out Merrill previous to maintain the undefeated record.
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