Weston commission says no to TIF expansion | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau news for Sept. 16, 2021
Weston’s Plan Commission at the end of a two-hour meeting Monday rejected an expansion plan that would have added projects to its Tax Increment Finance No. 2 project.
The plan would have added the ability for the village to borrow money from the TIF District, for potential future mixed development along the Schofield Avenue Corridor, along with helping to pay for needed repaving of Schofield Avenue. Any of those projects would still have needed to be voted on by Weston committees and the board.
The decision came following a lengthy meeting in which numerous residents voiced opposition to the plan. Residents brought up the fact that Weston has 22% of its proporty value in a TIF district, nearly double the Department of Revenue recommended amount; that Weston is building a $16 million municipal center, which residents referred to as the Taj Mahal; and a lack of transparency over Weston finances in general.
TIF district are mechanisms that allow municipalities to borrow against future taxes to help fund either private projects or infrastructure. But TIF draws tax revenue away from municipalities, counties, state and school districts to fund those projects. That’s why the state recommends only 12% of property values in a municipality be in a TIF district.
Village leaders following the vote weren’t entirely sure what the plan commission’s vote meant; whether the plan was dead or could be brought back in some form.
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What else in Wausau?
Wausau is designating more money next year to fight the emerald ash borer. The city originally designated $107,000 per year to eradicate ash trees in the city in about 12-15 years, but to meet that timeline would actually cost more like $253,000. The Parks Committee added $63,000 to battle the beetle, which means some trees will be treated longer until they’re removed.
At least one city pool will be kept open two weeks longer than the rest next year. The city’s Parks Committee approved keeping one pool open two weeks longer, costing about $9,000. Parks wouldn’t have the staff to keep all the pools open longer, but could keep on open, assuaging complaints about the pools closing in early August.
Around the metro
A Marathon County Board member resigned recently - but now wants back in. Randy Fifrick resigned last month because a new job he was applying for required it, but ultimately didn’t take the job, so he’d like back in. The county’s executive committee decided it would only be fair to open up the process to anyone interested, and will make a decision next month. Fifrick is the third to resign this term, and fifth in a roughly two-year period.
A Facebook post from a former employee of Erbert and Gerbert’s went viral over the weekend alleging messy conditions, mold in many areas of the restaurant and food left out when it should have been stored. The post was accompanied by multiple photos showing messy conditions, dishes unwashed and what appeared to be mold on the food storage racks. Marathon County Health Department Environmental Health and Safety Inspector Dale Grosskurth told The Wausonian the department conducted an unannounced inspection Monday and confirmed the mold on the racks but were unable to verify the rest of the complaints. Grosskurth said it’s not uncommon for mold to form in cooler because they tend to be moist and all of the food was sealed. The report, provide to The Wausonian, contains a number of corrections but nothing that would be a toxic hazard to customers, Grosskurth says.
Other items on the report that need addressing are as follow: install shatterproof lightbulbs; clean surfaces in cooler; install an air gap in the hose to the ice machine; clean the soda machine and kitchen ceilings; clean the floors in the kitchen, stockroom and basement by ice machine; and label any toxic substances (like cleaner). The last inspection prior to Monday was in July 2020, and only two minor issues were discovered.
This week begins the Central Wisconsin Book Festival, which kicks off Friday and runs through the week. Meet a number of authors form around the CW area, including Wausau’ own poet laureate, and take part in some of the workshops. Plenty of activities for the kids as well! Click here to read the full schedule.
If you’re up for a drive, Stevens Point’s District 1 Brewery will host Oktoberfest Saturday. The festivities start at 11 am and feature Dilly Dahl Deli serving German food throughout the day along with polka from the Ultimate Polka Band. A portion of beer sales will go to the Portage County Prostate Cancer Coalition. See the Facebook event page for more info.
Singer Songwriter Jack Greenwood will be taking the stage at Bull Falls Brewery in Wausau Thursday. Greenwood, who just moved to Austin to further his music career, will take the stage at 7 pm. Greenwood’s music comes with some high-level production chops and he’s an artist on the rise. Check out Jack Greenwood on Spotify or below:
Wausau East has hired a new baseball coach. Jon Winter, who currently oversees technology education at the Wausau School District, will take over the team come spring. Winter is a former Wausau East baseball player himself. Winter takes over for Steve Heinrich, who enjoyed a 30-year career in the sport. Winter is a forme free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays and worked as a scout for the Atlanta Braves. He also played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks.
D.C. Everest Football has pulled even with Wausau West in the Valley Football Association. The Evergreens defeated Appleton West 35-10 to pull even with West at 1-1. SPASH, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids are tied for first with two wins each.
The Warriors defeated Marshfield 2-1 Tuesday to remain undefeated 3-0 in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. The Warriors trail SPASH, which has a 4-0 record in the Valley. The Warriors will host the Panthers today (Thursday) at home.
The D.C. Everest Volleyball team defeated Wausau East Tuesday to remain undefeated in Wisconsin Valley Conference play. The Evergreens defeated the Lumberjacks in three sets to hold a 2-0 record. D.C. Everest and Merrill are tied for first in the Wisconsin Valley Conference.
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