Community Update – Running for Public Office, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Vital Signs Announcement

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Learn About Running for Public Office

Making a difference in society can take many different forms. For me, there was no better place to get as involved as with the City I grew up in. To others, it can be anything from volunteering, serving on boards/commissions, or running for public office.  This Wednesday, November 19 at 6:30PM,  anyone thinking about running for public office, or interested in learning more about the process and importance of public service is encouraged to attend the “Why and How to Run for Local Elected Office” event hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Wisconsin Rapids Area.  The event will inform attendees on the process of running for public office, from filing the necessary papers and campaign finances, to getting the word out to voters.

I believe that no matter what our age or background or walk of life, each of us has something to contribute to the life of this community.  For anyone who feels a calling toward public service, I sincerely hope you consider your options to get involved, whether it is as an elected official or otherwise, in serving your community.  If you are interested in the event but cannot attend, RCCA Media will be recording the event and a video will be available to view Saturday on their YouTube channel.

Shoe Sensation – Grand Opening

This Thursday, November 20th, Wisconsin Rapids will celebrate the grand opening of a new shoe Shoe Sensationstore, Shoe Sensation. In a previous Community Update, I drew attention to Shoe Sensation, a regional chain that focuses on growing in smaller communities, announcing their selection of our City for their 2nd Wisconsin store.

Shoe Sensation is located at the Crossroads Center, 1000E. Riverview Expressway between Copps and Shopko.  To learn more about activities and promotions planned for their grand opening event, visit this link.  Shoe Sensation aims to provide shoes to the whole family, with typical stores carrying over 10,000 pairs of shoes across a wide range of styles.  For those of us who struggle to find shoes close to home, the addition of Shoe Sensation to our community is welcomed.

Love Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony

love lightsThis Friday, November 21 at 6:30PM, Riverview Hospital Auxiliary will be holding the “Love Lights” Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Riverview Medical Center, 410 Dewey St..  The ceremony will mark the lighting of trees covered with “Love Lights” purchased to remember or honor those who had an impact on the community or lives of others.  Lights purchased help fund the UW Cancer Center – Riverview’s equipment and programs.

Friday’s event will include refreshments, music and the reading of contest submission essays by area fourth grade students.  To learn more about the “Love Lights” event, please visit this link.  For anyone who cannot attend the event, RCCA Media will be capturing the tree lighting, with the video available next week Monday on their YouTube channel.

Vital Signs Announcement

Vital SignsThis Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 4:30PM-7:00PM at the Centralia Center, the fourth issue of Vital Signs will be released.  The Vital Signs report summarizes the most recent and best available data to help focus discussions on economic opportunity in the south Wood County area.  This year’s event will have an interactive format, designed to connect the dots between what is working well, what may need more work, and what lies ahead for our region.  Participants will learn and discuss how information contained in Vital Signs can be helpful in realizing a community that works well for all our people. Attendees will also receive the 2014 Vital Signs report.

If you care deeply about our region, join Laura Dresser, Associate Director of Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and Kelly Ryan, CEO of Incourage for this special presentation. For more information about Thursday’s event, and to RSVP, visit this link.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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Community Update – Celebrating Veterans Day, Candy Bar Election, and Community Photo Contest

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Celebrating Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11, marks the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I on Veterans DayNovember 11, 1918. The following year, November 11 was made a national holiday in honor of our nation’s veterans.  To show the men and women of the United States Armed Forces appreciation for their brave service and celebrate our country’s heroes, several local Veterans Day ceremonies are scheduled to take place this Tuesday:

  • 11:00AM – Ceremony honoring all veterans – Veteran’s Park
  • 12:00PM – Post Ceremony Chili Lunch – American Legion Post 9’s Clubhouse
  • 1:00PM – Wood County Veterans Memorial Legacy Stone Ceremony – Courthouse
  • 4:00PM – Spaghetti Dinner – VFW Post No. 2534 Clubhouse, 2711 Reddin Rd.

As we recognize this Veterans Day in the company of family and friends, we pay tribute to the brave men and women in our nation’s military who are presently serving overseas and are in harm’s way. Let us remember all of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces, and let us reflect on the freedoms we enjoy in this nation that were paid for by those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” Event

Last Wednesday, I joined over 100 local veterans, members of the County Veterans Service Officer’s Association and 12 local agencies, for the inaugural “Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” event.  The event was designed to acquaint veterans with the many resources available to them, and covered opportunities including enrolling for VA benefits, employment programs, credit and financial counseling, help for substance abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Flu shots were also made available to registered veterans who attended.  In all, last week’s event saw a great turnout: 107 Veterans participated, 42 Veterans received clothing assistance, 11 received flu shots, and 7 Veterans were identified as homeless and received assistance with shelter (something critically important with the cold weather returning to our area).  For a video report on last week’s Stand Down event, visit this link.

The State of Wisconsin has a long history of providing supporting benefits, programs and services to returning veterans, but many individuals aren’t aware of the help they are eligible for.  Wednesday’s Stand Down event was an excellent opportunity for our local agencies to provide supporting ways to help Veterans who have served selflessly in this nation’s military.  For more information about the Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down event, please contact Rock Larson, Wood County CVSO or visit the County Veterans Service Officer’s Association website.

Woodside Candy Bar Election

FullSizeRender_1 (2)Last week, in conjunction with Election day and to educate 3rd and 4th grade students at Woodside Elementary School on topics related to the electoral system, I had the opportunity to participate in Woodside’s annual Candy Bar Election event.  The goal of last week’s event was to expose students to the election process by providing an engaging classroom experience around elections and the jobs of elected leaders.

The event’s activities included students giving speeches
“campaigning” for their favorite candy bar, accompanied by created campaign signs to raise awareness forFullSizeRender_1 their assigned candidate.  After, students then cast their vote for their favorite.  After two consecutive years of Kit Kat winning, the 2014 Candy Bar Election winner was Twix!  After voting, I spoke with students on the importance of voting and getting involved early in making our city a better place.  I also spoke about my job duties as Mayor and the different opportunities for getting involved in the Wisconsin Rapids area.  As always, the students were full of excellent questions!  I appreciate invitations like these to ensure all people have direct access to their Mayor.

Capture the Community Photo Contest

If you were a visitor to the Wisconsin Rapids area, what events, recreational activities, landmarks or Photo Contestattractions would you attend?  The Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is sponsoring a photo contest to help answer this question- what do community members believe visitor’s should know about or see in the Wisconsin Rapids area.  From now until December 1, 2014, you can enter your photos in the Community Photo Contest, for a chance to be used in various Visit Wisconsin Rapids publications and on its website, to promote the Wisconsin Rapids Area as a destination.

The “Capture the Community” photo contest is an excellent opportunity for our many talented local photographers to showcase their photos.  For complete contest information and rules, please visit this link.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Host the Illiana Blackbirds This Weekend

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riverkings- LogoThis weekend, Wisconsin Rapids’ newly launched junior hockey team- The Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings, will play their second home game stretch of the 2014/2015 season, by hosting the Illiana Blackbirds at the South Wood County Recreation Center.  Game Time will be at 7:30PM tonight (Friday,11/7/2014) where I have the honor of dropping the ceremonial puck to start the game. The Riverkings take the ice again at 7:30PM tomorrow (11/8/2014); and the Riverkings will close out their home stretch with a game at 12:00PM on Sunday (11/9/2014). Tickets are available at the door for only $5 for adults and $2 for anyone under 18.

The Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings are a Junior Hockey Team within the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.Riverkings- Team  The Riverkings are in their inaugural season, with “home ice” being the South Wood County Recreation Center.  As we begin our inaugural season in the Junior Hockey Organization, we have much to be proud of with our team and to look forward to this season and beyond.

For more information on the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings, visit their team website.  RCCA Media will be capturing video of game, to be aired next week, or on demand by following this link.

Mayor Zach Vruwink

 

Community Update – Healthcare Alignment, Heavy Metal Bus Tour and Stand Down Event

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Healthcare Provider Alignment

Last Friday, it was announced that Riverview Hospital Association and Aspirus Inc. would be pursuing an affiliation that would result in Aspirus acquiring ownership of Riverview Hospital, integrating both hospital systems- with a goal of a more efficient and comprehensive coordination of health care services. The new affiliation will also result in the endowment of a $100 million foundation to be used to invest in the health and wellness needs of Wisconsin Rapids for generations to come.

Friday’s announced intended affiliation will serve as a way to accomplish enhanced access to specialty care and unify the organizations’ goal of delivering an innovative approach to healthcare.  The announced collaboration is one that is a positive step for healthcare delivery in Wisconsin Rapids that will thrive in our area.  I commend Riverview and Aspirus for uniting to combine the best of what each entity has to offer while keeping the community’s health care needs a top priority. As was stated in the joint announcement, both organizations have much to be proud of in the support and commitment shown to the Wisconsin Rapids community. News article here.

In September, Aspirus received Council approval to annex property near their existing clinic, to achieve their announced expansion plans. During the approval process, questions were raised presenting an opportunity for the community to understand the role of city government. Is it city government’s role to decide whether market conditions exist to substantiate development? In this particular case, the items to be acted on were annexation, rezoning and a conditional use permit. Whether in the case of healthcare or any other opportunity that will come before the City, at the core, the decision is quasi judicial. Consistency in how business opportunities are considered by our City is critical. What conditions must be placed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public? What zoning standards exist?  Our City stands ready and willing to entertain every opportunity that comes before us.

Heavy Metal Bus Tour

Last Wednesday, to provide a capstone to the Governor’s proclaimed “Manufacturing Month” in Wisconsin,Heavy Metal Bus Tour Sophomore High School students from Nekoosa, Port Edwards, Assumption and Lincoln took part in the Heavy Metal Bus Tour, to get an inside look at our local manufacturing facilities and highlight the challenging and rewarding careers that manufacturing offers.  The day’s activities included tours of NewPage, Tweet/Garot, Fey Printing, and ECC Corrosion Inc. and learning more about the training opportunities for careers in manufacturing at Mid-State Technical College. This was a great opportunity for area employers and Mid-State Technical College to come together to benefit students by giving them exposure and awareness to careers in manufacturing.

Heavy Metal 2Offering a competitive annual salary, and having vacant positions that need to be filled through the retirement of baby boomers, the field of manufacturing is more vibrant and appealing than ever before.  In our area, manufacturing job vacancies exist that can provide engaging work and a rewarding career.  Seeing firsthand what jobs in manufacturing entail helps provide students with the opportunity to explore and learn more about the compelling jobs the manufacturing industry can offer them.

Rapids Mall Grand Re-Opening

rapids mall grand reopeningLast Monday, I joined Mall management and members of the community to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the Rapids Mall.  Over the past couple months, you’ve probably observed various improvements to both the exterior and interior of the Mall.  Now under new management, new paint has been applied to the interior and exterior and a new website has launched.  Additionally, a new store has been announced and efforts for filling vacant locations is underway.  After working with management and ownership, these are just the first of many steps in improving and determining the future of the Rapids Mall.  Be sure to visit in the months ahead to see what is new!  A Business After Hours event taking place at the Rapids Mall is planned for next Tuesday, November 11, from 4:30-6:30PM.

“Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” Event

This Wednesday, November 5 from 9:00AM-3:00PM, the Tomah VA Medical Center, Wisconsin Rapids VAStand Down Outpatient Clinic and the Wood County Veteran Service Office will be hosting the “Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down” event at the Rapids Mall.

The Stand Down event, designed to acquaint veterans with the many resources available to them, will cover opportunities including enrolling for VA benefits, employment programs, credit and financial counseling, help for substance abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Flu shots will also be available to registered veterans who attend.

The State of Wisconsin has a long history of providing supporting benefits, programs and services to returning veterans, but many individuals aren’t aware of the help they are eligible for.  Wednesday’s Stand Down event will provide an excellent opportunity for all veterans to increase awareness about state or federal military benefits they may be eligible for.  For more information about the Wisconsin Rapids Stand Down event, please contact Rock Larson, Wood County CVSO, or visit the County Veterans Service Officer’s Association website.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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Community Update – Public Aquatics, Heavy Metal Bus Tour, and Visiting German Students

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Commitment to Public Aquatics, Aquatics Ad-Hoc Committee

Pool CrackingAt a time when our public aquatic facility is deteriorating, the City leads on looking to the future for its public aquatics offering.  For over 100 years, aquatic facilities have been an essential part of the Wisconsin Rapids community. Today, the clock is ticking on our remaining public aquatic facility.

Last August, Wisconsin Rapids received exciting news when, at a media conference, Riverview Hospital Association and John E. Alexander SWCYMCA announced an intent to collaborate on the construction and operation of a new YMCA facility in Wisconsin Rapids.  Proposed to be located on the Riverview campus, the facility will be designed to address a wide range of community health and wellness needs.

A facility like what was announced provides us with the opportunity to strengthen our community economically through attracting and retaining young adults and families. The aquatics facility announced by Riverview and YMCA could serve as a place to nurture the potential of children and families through youth development, while helping to improve the health and well-being of residents in our community.  Although the announcement was an exciting step for the future of aquatics in our area, the City recognized that work exists to preserve a public aquatics offering.  At the September City Council meeting, our Council unanimously renewed its commitment to support public aquatics offerings through an aquatics resolution, and discussed an upcoming formation of an Aquatics Ad-Hoc Committee, to aid in the decision of if and how a collaborative approach to solving our aquatics challenges is practical.  Last Tuesday, the Council approved the formation of the Ad-Hoc Committee, with Common Council and Park & Recreation Commission representation, to explore the extent in which a new public aquatics facility could serve the needs of all members of the public from children to seniors.

The objectives of the Committee will be to swiftly quantify the existing public aquatic offering’s usage, Mead Poolreview recommendations by the 2012-2016 Recreation Plan to collaborate with community partners, and understand our current and upcoming aquatics challenges. Further, the Committee will work to understand resident’s desires in a public aquatics facility. The Committee will produce a summary of its findings and a recommendation in December of 2014 for full City Council consideration. All Committee meetings will be open to members of the public and attended by City staff.  Our first meeting is Tomorrow, Tuesday October 28th, 2014 at 5 pm in the First Floor Conference room of City Hall. 

It is indeed an exciting time for our community.  I am hopeful this is the first of many collaborative efforts to make our community stronger.  To read my previous reaction to the announcement, click here.

Heavy Metal Bus Tour

This Wednesday, high school Sophomore High School students from Nekoosa, Port Edwards, Assumption and Lincoln will join local and elected leaders in the Heavy Metal Bus Tour, to get an inside look at our local manufacturing facilities and highlight the challenging and rewarding careers that manufacturing offers.  The Heavy Metal Bus Tour is a program coordinated by the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, with a goal of exposing and encouraging students to consider jobs in the area of Manufacturing.  The day’s activities will include tours of NewPage, Tweet/Garot, Fey Printing, and ECC Corrosion Inc. and learning more about the training opportunities for careers in manufacturing at Mid-State Technical College. This is a great opportunity for area employers and Mid-State Technical College to come together to benefit students by giving them exposure and awareness to careers in manufacturing.

To help highlight the challenging and rewarding careers that manufacturing offers, and to reaffirm the importance of manufacturers to our state’s economy, the Governor proclaimed October “Manufacturing Month” in Wisconsin.  With his proclamation, came the encouragement that Wisconsin’s manufacturing employers host visits, tours and other events to highlight that manufacturing in Wisconsin is a robust and dynamic industry driving the creation of jobs, inspiring innovation and advancing the state’s economy.

Manufacturing is the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy, having dominance in many Wisconsin cities like ours.  Events like this Wednesday’s day-long tour shows students the highly technical and great careers in manufacturing.  With the average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin at $53,000 per year- more than $10,000 per year higher than the average pay for all Wisconsin private-sector workers, and the retirement of baby boomers- the field of manufacturing is more vibrant and appealing than ever before.  Seeing firsthand what jobs in manufacturing entail provides students with the opportunity to explore and learn more about the compelling jobs the manufacturing industry can offer them.

For our area, there is also tremendous value in having programs such as the Heavy Metal Bus Tour.  Our area is fortunate to have a great combination for youth to succeed with jobs that are high paying, have good benefits and are in an area that offers a great quality of life.  Not only does our area have fantastic manufacturing employers like ERCO, Domtar, NewPage and Golden Eagle Log Homes right in our backyard; we also have an outstanding technical college to help give students the skills and education needed to fill the positions needed by these companies in the near future.

Hosting German Business Students

German Exchange students visit City Hall

German Exchange students visit City Hall

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting Students from Max Eyth Schule, in Dreieich Germany.  The students are part of an exchange program with Mid-State Technical College, where business students spend two weeks with families in Wisconsin Rapids, tour local businesses and go on different field trips around the region.  City Hall was a destination for the students last Monday, and I had the opportunity to welcome them to Wisconsin Rapids, speak about various City functions and a bit of city history.  As young professionals, I encouraged them to take action sooner rather than later. I expressed my growing appreciation for the city and world as I became involved in starting a business as well as seeking and holding elected office. The students were full of good questions; I enjoyed discussing my role as Mayor and answering their questions!

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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Community Update – Regional Economic Development Fund, Fall Photos, and Beautification Council

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Election as Vice President of CWED, CWED Board Meeting

Last Thursday, I joined representatives from 7 counties and 10 cities in central and north-central Wisconsin for the Central Wisconsin Economic Development (CWED) Fund’s monthly Board of Directors meeting.  At this meeting, the CWED Fund held its election of officers.  Jeffrey L. Zriny, Marathon County Board Supervisor, was elected President, and I was elected Vice President.CWED Map

A strong regional economy elevates each of our surrounding communities. The CWED Fund, regionalized in 2009, spans a territory reaching from Adams county in the south to Vilas county in the north. The over $12 million fund is in place to serve as an economic tool for Central Wisconsin.  The funds are made available with the objectives of creating new and diverse private sector jobs, growing incomes, and leveraging bank financing- all leading to an expansion of the region’s employment and tax base.  The purpose of the CWED Loan Fund is to partner with traditional financing to fill financing gaps in local markets and to stimulate private sector development.

In a previous Community Update, I gave an overview of the fund as one solution for funding new and expanding business ventures.  The fund provides an excellent opportunity for supporting business growth in the region.  Fulfilling the objectives of the fund will aid in positively impacting the business climate in our region, encouraging the expansion of existing businesses and helping to attract new businesses- all leading to a diverse mix of employment opportunities.  To learn more about the CWED fund, visit this link.  I look forward to working with the newly elected President over the coming year to ensure the continued success of CWED’s fund in promoting economic development in our region.

Board of Regents, Partnership for Thriving Communities

boardofregentsRecently, I had an opportunity to join area leaders, as well as UW system Chancellors and Provosts from around the state as UW-Stevens Point hosted the Board of Regents.  As the first time since 2008 that the board has visited UWSP, it was an opportunity to highlight the campus, and surrounding communities to demonstrate how the 4-year college is a vital and energetic part of our region.

At the meeting, UWSP’s Chancellor, Bernie Patterson shared the University’s strategic plan, titled “A Partnership for Thriving Communities,” with the Board and visitors.  This plan provides a framework through which the University is becoming more engaged with area stakeholders, more responsive to local needs, and more relevant to solving regional problems.  Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with representatives from UWSP in their preparation of this plan, to identify ways that the University can aid in advancing learning and quality of life in our communities, and leveraging our area’s precious resources.  A video of the board of regents meeting can be viewed here.

The meeting also included the opportunity for student projects to be showcased to Regents and visitors. I was pleased to see an emphasis on classroom projects that applied learning such as the use of GIS in a sonar survey of river depth above the Stevens Point dam. In this way, I shared the boat landing survey that is underway to understand the usage of the stretch of river in Wisconsin Rapids. It has been said that a second phase of the project could be a hazard identification to foster a safer experience for those looking to utilize the river here.

Submit Fall Photos

Fall Picture

A recent view from my kayak looking south with Belle Island to the right.

With the fall season upon us, one can’t help but notice the changing of colors in our area.  In fact, according to Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report, last week and this week mark peak times for fall color in central Wisconsin.   The colorful landscape of our area presents the perfect opportunity to showcase your photos on our City’s Facebook page, my Twitter or Facebook pages.  I invite you to upload some of your fall photos, and look forward to seeing (and sharing) the beautiful landscape that our area provides this time of year!

Beautification Council Meeting

Earlier this month, I represented our city at the America In Bloom Symposium.  The symposium was a celebration of efforts that communities had achieved in preserving local heritage, enhancing environmental aspects of their spaces, and, of course, beautifying their surroundings.  Our community also received feedback from our visiting judges on successes and potential improvements in the way of an evaluation and recommendation document..

This Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:30PM in the 1st Floor Conference Room at City Hall, the Mayor’s Council on Beautification (MCB) will hold its next meeting. Now that we’ve received the AIB judge feedback report and are entering into the fall season, members of the MCB have the opportunity to review the report, discuss alternatives and feasibility of implementation to prioritize new and existing project ideas.  Thursday’s Beautification Council meeting will be an excellent chance to learn about planned projects and voice your ideas for potential ones.  If you have an interest in participating in Thursday’s Beautification Council meeting, feel free to attend the meeting or contact me.  Whether through implementing 4th quarter projects before winter, or planning our 2015 projects, the Mayor’s Council on Beautification is hard at work planning and carrying out projects that help in making Wisconsin Rapids a more welcoming and vibrant place to live and visit.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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Community Update – Tribune Building, Neighborhood Clean-Up, and Final Alarm Ceremony

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Tribune Building Project

Last month officially wrapped up the facilitated, resident-led meetings for the Tribune Building Project, marking the collective work of over 700 residents and more than 4,400 hours over 10 meetings.  At that meeting, accomplishments were shared, and updates were given to the group for moving forward.

10653348_739279782806657_2300626559641749664_nDevelopments often impact areas beyond the specific parcel. The Tribune Building redevelopment is no exception.  With this site surrounded by vacant and underutilized parking lots both city and non-city owned, the area has much redevelopment potential. Our City’s fathers and past administrations worked to develop a foresight to the future use of downtown property, with plans dating back to the 1990s (1996 Plan, 2007 Plan, 2009 Plan). By way of timing, over the past few years, we’ve seen pieces pulled out of these plans and brought to fruition. There are also steps we can take to ensure additional elements of these plans, invested in and adopted by residents through Council approval, see the light of day.

As we’ve now hit a milestone as a community with the Tribune Building Project, the time has come to bring residents together for another meeting around options and alternatives for future development around the Tribune Building.  The next meeting will be this Tuesday, October 14 at 5:30PM at the Centralia Center.  The meeting will continue the generating of ideas and dialogue that build on previous meetings, but also begins a discussion around future development choices. If you missed last month’s meeting, I highly encourage you to attend Tuesdays, and make your mark on this unique redevelopment on our riverfront.  Cannot make the meeting? I welcome your feedback.

Final Alarm Ceremony and Procession

Last weekend, over 250 residents and visitors gathered at the Wisconsin State Firefighter’s Memorial to 5810612_f1024attend the annual Final Alarm and Roll Call Ceremony.  The event featured a memorial service to honor the firefighters who have died in the line of duty in the State of Wisconsin.  The names of all fallen firefighters listed on the Memorial Wall were read along with ringing of the Memorial Bell for each.  Additionally, two names of firefighters who died in the line of duty over the past year were recognized and added to the 280 names already etched in the memorial wall.  Governor Scott Walker joined Saturday’s event and issued an Executive Order instructing all Wisconsin flags be flown at half-staff in memory of firefighters who died in the line on duty.

In addition to the Final Alarm and Roll Call Ceremony, Saturday evening, a Final Alarm Procession was held to honor firefighters who gave their lives in line-of-duty deaths.  Each year, it’s a tremendous honor for Wisconsin Rapids to be the permanent host of the Wisconsin state memorial.  The Final Alarm Ceremony and Procession are a great opportunity for residents to experience and be reminded of how special it is to us and remember those who have given their lives to keep our communities safe.  A video of the Ceremony, captured by RCCA, can be viewed here.  A video of the procession captured by members of WRPD can be seen here.

Witter Field Planned Changes/Improvements

IMG_7931With the Rafter’s season concluded, City staff have been meeting with representatives from the Wisconsin Rapids Rafter’s organization to plan for structural maintenance and improvements to Witter Field during the off season.  The grandstand is an asset and therefore requires ongoing maintenance. Exposure to the elements necessitates treatment of rust and other issues. As a result, the grandstand will receive some new color. While the cranberry color will remain on the stairs, a darker grey will cover the floor. The benches and ceiling will remain the same.

As the proud home of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, we have an IMG_7936interest in investing in Witter Field, as an asset that increasingly plays an important role in our community and with the residents and visitors of Wisconsin Rapids.  The painting of the grandstand is just one of several important investments taking place in the off season to ensure the vibrancy and historic part of our community remains for generations to come.

Ward 1 Fall Cleanup Event

This Saturday, volunteers and members of the Ward 1 Neighborhood Group will get together for Ward 1’s Fall Cleanup Event.  Slated to be a “maintenance event,” Saturday will see volunteers and property owners assist their neighbors with raking, leaf pick-up and general upkeep to properties in the area.

Ward 1 CleanupThe event will begin at 8:00AM and participants should meet at the shelter at the newly renovated St. Lawrence Playground (10th Ave. N. and Fremont St.).  Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves (if they would like to have them), and a rake if they have one.  For further details or clarification on questions about Saturday’s event, please contact Kathy Rash, Ward 1 Volunteer Coordinator.  I am proud to see the ongoing resident-led work being done to help beautify our neighborhoods.  I plan to be there, and hope to see you Saturday!  

 

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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