This week’s common council agenda was light but the meeting wasn’t short on information. The bulk of the meeting was a presentation on the South Riverfront Master Plan and Towers District Market Study Plan. But before I get into that‚ there is one item of note.

The entire packet is available on the City of Wausau website: https://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Portals/0/Departments/Council/Archives/Council/Council/2020/COUN_20200211_Packet.pdf

A resolution passed providing for the Sale of Approximately $5,120,000 Water System and Sewer System Revenue Bond Anticipation Notes, Series 2020A. In December of 2018‚ the city took out a bond of $5‚055‚000 for the purpose of short term financing the engineering costs of the water plant and wastewater treatment plant until a loan could be secured from the Wisconsin Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water funds. These funds, administered by the State, would provide the permanent financing of these projects. 

While the project is moving along‚ obtaining the financing is going a bit slower than expected. The current short term bond matures on April 1‚ 2020‚ so a second short term bond is necessary until the permanent financing is in place. The new bond is good for two years and can be called at any time after 6 months. It’s important to note that this bond isn’t additional borrowing for the project‚ but instead refinancing existing project costs until the permanent loan is in place. We expect the loan from the State’s Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water funds to be in place this summer.

The meat of the meeting was a presentation by Neighborhood Planners of Appleton‚ WI on the Towers District Market Study Plan and the South Riverfront Master Plan. These plans are a first step in redeveloping those areas as they provide a roadmap of future use. It should be noted that there is no definite timeline to these plans nor could the actual development in these areas mimic what is in the plan. But it is a guide that can be followed to what the city feels is the best use for the areas.

Copies of these plans can be found on the Wausau Economic Development Website

The South Riverfront Area is the part of the river south of Washington Street and north of Oak Island Park. It includes the Whitewater course‚ Farmers Market‚ and businesses along River Dr. The plan calls for a reimagining of the farmer’s market as a year round venue with permanent stalls and a four season structure repurposed from the deconstructed Stone Building Supply structure.

Green spaces would exist for the Whitewater course to utilize during events and a combination of market rate and workforce housing constructed along River Drive.

The Towers District is located north of Scott Street and South of Fulton and includes the Dudley Tower‚ McClellan ramp‚ ABC Distributing‚ and Church of the Resurrection property. The plan calls for reimagining this space by adding more green space‚ mixed use development‚ and potentially another building to mirror the Dudley Tower. A key component of this plan would be if the McClellan parking ramp would be reconstructed or not. The ramp is reaching end of life and the plan gives options for parking that would both include or not include the ramp.

I believe both plans have their merits and will certainly spur conversation with developers looking to build in the areas. Strategic planning is important and these two plans fit well with the city’s comprehensive plan. I think moving forward it will be interesting to see how these plans will be implemented. If you have questions or concerns about these plans‚ please feel free to drop me a line and I’d be glad to talk more about them.