Community Update – City Pool, Bicycle Routes, and Modern Issues

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City Pool Opening & Challenges            

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith school out and sunny days the norm, many residents are excited for the opening of our City’s pool.  Mead Pool is set to open this Wednesday, June 11 at noon.  Although the pool is opening on time, this year’s opening didn’t come without significant challenges.

Constructed in 1978, Mead pool is now 36 years old and pushing the usable life for a pool of its kind in Wisconsin.  As a rule of thumb, the typical life of a tank capacity outdoor pool in our area is around 30 years.  For Mead Pool, extending beyond the useful life of the pool has presented us with challenges with water pressure, draining and deck conditions- requiring repairs that can become costly to complete to bring the pool to a functional state.

With the age of the pool and demands of unforeseen repairs to an asset that has gone beyond poolits anticipated service life, although we can continue to buy time, a permanent solution must be found.  Earlier this year at my State of the City Address, it was reported that the City is exploring how we might find a solution by working with community partners who have an interest in developing, and possibly fundraising for such a project.  We can all agree, we need a sustainable model- one that is more cost effective and one that demonstrates fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer and its contributors.

In the near future, I will be forming an Ad-Hoc committee to understand the usage of our current pool offering and explore alternatives. This Ad-Hoc committee will consist of Alderpersons, Park & Recreation Commission members and city staff. As this committee moves through the process, I expect an opportunity for public involvement.  Further, it was reported last week our neighbors in the Village of Port Edwards question whether this may be the final summer of their current municipal pool.  Might the current state of our municipal pools warrant a collaborative solution? Maybe so.

It is my position that we have a significant opportunity to improve the quality of life through such a project for not only our city but our region. I commit to continued participation in the dialogue until a position solution benefiting all of our residents is reached.  Until then, we are happy to announce that the pool repairs are completed and residents can once again enjoy the pool during those hot months.  Information relating to Mead Pool hours and dates of operation can be found here.

Proposed Bike Routes 

Last month, I gave an overview of the Complete Streets” concept in my Community Update.   Complete Streets is a term used to describe roadways that are designed and operated to enable safe, convenient and comfortable access and travel for all users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.  Although we have over 20 miles of trails designated throughout our City, the connectedness of those trails is lacking and ripe for improvement.

Last week, the Parks & Recreation Commission voted to approve enhancements to our bike path network that would allow for bike routes to parks and schools as well as provide access to share right-of-ways on designated streets within the City.  This decision furthered last month’s recommendation and brings our City one step closer to a broader “Complete Streets” program.

I am pleased with the progress the Parks & Recreation Commission has made in advancing the Complete Streets concept here in the City of Wisconsin Rapids.  The bike routes proposal will now go to Public Works for approval at next month’s meeting.  As an avid biker, I join the many residents who are excited about the further development and interconnectedness of our City’s bike/trail system.

Modern Issues Expo

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining community leaders to observe the Modern Issues Expo at LHS.  The expo featured students in World Issues classes performing a project based assessment on a modern global issue, finding creative ways to raise community awareness.

Some of the issues identified included world hunger, LGBT rights, police brutality, and animal rights.  I was impressed with students’ ingenuity in tying in modern technology with community awareness of global issues.  From creating a song or a board game, to designing merchandise that raises awareness, students utilized modern channels of distribution in getting the word out about their respective global issues.

Blossom Fest

blossomfestNext week Thursday begins the annual Blossom Fest event. Yes, the carnival will return on Friday. The June Dairy and Berry Breakfast takes place Friday morning and Sunday is the annual parade! Full event details can be found by visiting blossomfest.com.

 

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach

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